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^Wf 



HEDDA GABLER 



A DRAMA IN FOUR ACTS 



BY 

HENRIK IBSEN 

TRANSLATED FROM THE NORWEGIAN BY 

EDMUND GOSSE 



BOSTON 
WALTER H. BAKER & CO. 



a s 6 8 



tnilTBD STATTIS BOOK CQIIffUlllV. 



This, the sole authorized English translation of 
HEDDA GABLER, is issued simultaneously with the 
publication of the original in Copenhagen* I have 
received from the author exclusive rights of transla- 
tion for the English-speaking countries, and I hereby 
state that these rights have been purchased from me 
for America by Mr. Lovell. 

EDMUND GOSSE. 
London, Dec. 12, 1890. 



THE PERSONS. 



GEORGE TESMAN, a young man of letters 

MRS. HEDDA TESMAN (bom GABLER), his wife 

MISS JULIANA TESMAN, his auat 

MRS. ELVSTED 

JUDGE BRACK 

EJLERT LOVBORG 

BERTHA, servant to the Tesmans. 

The action proceeds in Tesman*s villa in the western part of 

the city. 



NOTE. 

It has seemed impossible, without prodncing an 
effect hopelessly mi-EngUsh, to preserve in trans- 
lation the distinction between "you" (cfe) and 
" thou " (du). But as some shades of characteriza- 
tion may be lost without this, it seems weU to de- 
scribe L conduct of tixe .^ous persons in this 
particular. Hedda says " thou " to no one except 
toTesman and to Mrs. Elvsted, but always to them. 
Tesman says "thou "to Hedda, to his aunt, Juliana, 
and to Lovboig. Lovborg says "thou" to Hedda 
when no one else is Hstening, but "you" on other 
occasions. Mrs. Elvsted tries to say "thou" to 
Hedda, and after a little difficulty succeeds. Brack 
never uses "thou," even in his most confidential 
moments with Hedda. E. G. 



HEDDA GABLER. 



ACT I. 



A spcuyuyus^ pretty, cmd tastefully furnished sUtimg- 
roorriy decorated in dark colors. In the wall at the 
hack is a broad door-way, vnth curtaJins drawn 
aside. This door-way leads into a smaller room, 
which is furnished in the same style as the sitting- 
room. On the wall to the right in this latter there 
is a folding-door, which leads out to the hill. On 
the opposite wall, to the left, there is a glass door, 
also with curtains drawn hack. Through the 
pa/nss of glass a/re seen part of a verandah, which 
projects outside, and trees covered with autumn 
foliage. On the floor in front stands an oval table 
toith a cover on it and chairs around. In front 
of the wall on the right a broad, dark, porcelain 
stove, a high^Hxcked arm-chair, a foot-stool, with 
cushions and ttoo ottomans. Up in the right-hand 
comer a settee and a small round table. In front, 
to left, a little away from the vxdl, a sofa., 



8 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Opposite the glass door a pumoforte. On both 
sides of the doortvay in the back staatd itagires toith 
pieces of terra cotta amd majolica^ Close to the 
bach wail of the inner room is seen a sofc^ a table, 
and some chakrs. Above this sofa hangs the par- 
trait of a handsome elderly man in a generaTs 
tmifcynn. Over the table a chamdelier with dim, 
milh-colored shade. A great many bouqyets of 
flowers, in vases cmd glasses, are a/rramged about 
the sitting-^oom. Others lie on the table. Thick 
ca/rpets are spread on the floors of both rooms. It 
is morning, cmd the sum shines in through the glass 
door. 

Miss Juliana Tesican, with hat amd parasol, comes 
in from the hall, followed by Bebtha, who carries 
a bouquet with paper wrapped anrovmd it. Miss 
Tesman is a good-natured-looking lady of about 
skcty-five, neatly, but simply dressed in a gray 
walking costume. Bebtha is a somswhat elderly 
servant^madd, with apla/in amd rather covmt/rifled 
appearcmce. 

Miss Tesman* 

[Stamds inside the door, listens, amd says under her 
breath.] Well ! I declare if I believe that thej are 
up yet I 



HEDDA GABLES. 9 

Bebtha. 

[In the same tone.] That's just what I said, Miss 
Juliana. Just think how late the steamer came in 
last night. And what they were doing after that ! 
Gracious, the amount of things the young mistress 
would unpack before she would consent to go to 
bed! 

Miss Tesman. 

Tes, yes ! Let them have their sleep out. But, 

at all events, they shall have fresh morning air when 

they come. 

[She goes to the glass door^ and throws it 

ivide open.] 

Bertha. 

[At the tctbUy sta/nding irresolute, vnth the houqyet 
in her hand.] There isn't an atom of room left any- 
where. I think I shall put it down here, miss. 

[Lays down the bouquet in front of the 
picurwforte.] 

Miss Tesmah. 

Well, you've got a new master and mistress at 
last, my dear Bertha. God knows how hard it is 
for me to part with you. 



10 SEDDA QABLBB. 

Bebtha. 

[Tearfully. "l And — ^for me — ^too 1 What am I to 
say ? I, who have been in your servicje for all these 
years and years, Miss Juliana. 

Miss Tesman. 

We must take it quietly, Bertha. The truth is, 
there's nothing else to be done. Gteorge mvM have 
you with him in the house, you see. He mvM. 
You have been used to look after him ever since he 
was a little boy. 

Bebtha. 

Tes, miss, but I can't help thinking so much 
about her who lies at home. Poor thing, so utterly 
helpless ! And then with a new servant-maid there. 
She^ll never, never learn to wait on the invalid prop- 
erly. 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh 1 I shall get her into proper training for it. 
And I shall do most of it myself, you may be sure. 
You need not be so anxious about my poor sister, 
dear Bertha. 



HBDDA GABLBB. 11 

Bebtha. 

Yes, but jou know there are other things besides, 
Miss Juliana. I am so dreadfully afraid that I 
shall not be able to suit the young mistress. 

Miss Tesman. 

Now, dear me, just at first there may possibly be 
one 11^ or anotLr^ 

Bebtha. 

For there's no doubt that she's tremendously 
particular. 

Miss Tesman. 

Well, you can understand that. Qeneral Ghibler's 
daughter. What she was used to as long as the 
General lived ! Can you remember when she rode 
over with her father ? In the long, black riding- 
habit ? And with feathers in her hat ? 

Bebtha. 

Yes, I should think I did. Well! if ever I 
thought in those days that she and Master Geoige 
would make a match of it. 



'^>*' 



19 HBDDA QABLBB. 

MiBs Tbsican. 

Nor I either. But by the way, Bertha, while I 
remember it, yon must not say Master George in 
future ; you must say the Doctor. 

Bebtha. 

Oh, yes, the young mistress said something about 
that last night — ^the very moment she came in at 
the door. Is that so. Miss Juliana ? 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, of course it is. Becollect, Bertha, they made 
him a doctor while he was abroad. While he was^ 
travelling, you understand. I did not know a word 
about it until he told me down there on the quay. 

Bebtha. 

Well, he can be made whatever he likes, he can. 
He is so clever. But I should never have believed 
that he would have taken to curing people. 

Miss Tesman. 

No, he is not that sort of doctor. [Nods signifin 
ccmtly.] Besides, who knows but what you may 
soon have to call him something grander stilL 



HEDDA GABLBB. 18 

Bebtha. 
Not xeall J ! What may that be, Miss JaUana ? 

Miss Tesman. 

ISmilea,'] H'm 1 — ^I am not stire that you ought 
to know about it. \Agiiated.'\ Oh, dear, Oh, dear ! if 
only my poor Jochum could rise from his grave and 
see what his little boy has grown into ! [Olancea 
aroimdJ] Taken the covers off all the furniture ? 

Bebtha. 

Mrs. Greorge said I was to do so. She can't bear 
covers on the chairs she says. 

Miss Tesman. 
But — are they to be like this every day? 

Bebtha. 

Yes, I believe so. Mrs. Greorge said so. As to 
the doctor, he didn't say anything. 

Oeoboe Tesman erUerSf humming, from the right 
aide irUo the back roomy carrying a/a empty open 
hamdrbag. He is of middle height^ a yotmg-looh- 



14 HEDDA G ABLER. 

irvg mem of thirty-three^ rather stout^ tmth cm open^ 
roundy jolly countefrumcey blond hair cmd bea/rd. 
He wears spectacles and is dressed in a comfort^ 
abUy rather careless indoor suit 

Miss Tesman. 
Good-moming, good-morning, G^oige. 

Tesman. 

Aunt Jtilie ! Dear Aunt Jtilie ! [Walks up to her 
and shakes her havd.'\ Bight out here so early I 
Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

Well, yon can fancy I wanted to look after you a 
Uttle. 

Tesman. 

And that although you have not had your usual 
night's rest ! 

Miss Tesman. ^ 

Oh, that doesn't matter the least in the world. 

Tesman. 
Well, did you get safe home from the quay? Eh? 



HEDDA QABLER, 15 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh, dear me, yes, thank God I The Judge was so 
kind ;« to see ;« home right to my door 

Tesman. 

We were so sorry we could not take you up in the 
carriage. But you saw yourself — Hedda had so 
many boxes that she was obliged to take with her. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, it was quite dreadful what a quantity of 
boxes she had. 

Bebtha. 

[To Tesman.] Shall I go up and ask the mistress 
whether I can help her? 

Tesman. 

No, thank you, Bertha — it is not worth while for 
you to do that. If she wanted anything she would 
ring, she said. 

Bebtha. 
[To the right.'] Yes, yes, all right. 



16 HBDDA GABLBB. 

Tesican. 
But look here — ^take this bag away with jaa, 

Bebtha. 

[TaJces it.] I will put it np in the garret. 

[She goes out throvgh the hcUl door.] 

Tesman. 

Just fancy, Aunt, that whole bag was stuffed full 
of nothing but transcripts. It is perfectly incred- 
ible what I have collected in the various archiyes. 
Wonderful old things, which nobody had any idea 
of the existence of. 

Miss Tesman. 

Tes, indeed, you have not wasted your time on 
your wedding-journey, George. 

Tesman. 

No, I may say I have noi But do take off your 
hat. Aunt. Look here. Let me untie the bow. 
Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

[While he does it] Oh, dear me! it seems ex- 
actly as if you were still at home with us. 



HEDDA GABLEB. IT 

Tesman. 

\Tv/m8 avd stvinga the hat in his hcmdJ] Well, 
what a smart, showy hat you have got for yourself, 
to be sure. 

Miss Tesman. 
I bought it for Hedda's sake. 

Tesman. 
For Hedda's sake, eh ? 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, in order that Hedda may not be ashamed of 
me when we are walking in the street together. 

Tesman. 

[PcMng her mider the chin.] Tou positively think 
of everything. Aunt Julie ! [Pvits the hat on a chair 
dose to the table.] Now, look here, let us sit down 
here on this sofa and chat a little until Hedda 
comes. 

[They sit down. She places her parasol 
on the settee.] 



18 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Miss Tesman. 

[Takes both his hands in hers a/nd looks ai him^ 
How nice it is to have yon, George, aa large as life, 
before one's very eyes again. Oh, my dear, you 
are poor Jochmn's own boy. 

Tesman. 

And for me, too ! To see you again. Aunt Julie ! 
You who have been both father and mother to 
me. 

Miss Tesman. 

Tes, I know very well that you are still fond of 
your old aunts. 

Tesman. 

And so there's no improvement in Aunt Bina. 
Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

Ah, no, there is no improvement for her to be 
hoped for, poor thing. She lies there just as she 
has lain all these years. But I pray the Lord to 
let me keep her a while yet. For I don't know how 
I could live without her, George. Most of all now, 
you see, when I have not you to look after any 
longer. 



HBDDA GABLES. 19 

Tesman. 

[Pats her on the back.] Come,, come I 

Miss Tesman. 

Well, but remember that yon are a married man 
now, George. Fancy its being you who carried off 
HeddaLfiaUOT^! The lovely Hedda Gabler. Think 
of it ! She who had snch a crowd of snitors around 
her 1 

Tesman. 

[Hwns a little and smiles conterdedly.] Tes, I ex- 
pect I have plenty of good friends here in town 
that envy me. Eh ? 

Miss Tesman. 

And what a long wedding-journey you made, to 
be sure ! More than five — ^nearly six months. 

Tesman. 

Well, it has been a sort of travelling scholarship 
for me as welL All the archives I had to examine ! 
And the mass of books I had to read through 1 



so HELD A GABLBB. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, indeed, I expect so. \_More quietly <md in a 
lower voice,'] But now list^i, Gteorge — haven't you 
anything-aaythiiig particular to teU me? 

Tesman. 
About the journey ? 

Miss Tesman. 



Tesman. 

No, I don't think of anything more than I have 
mentioned in my letters. I told you yesterday 
about my taking my doctor's degree while we were 
abroad. 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh, yes, yes, you told me that. But I mean — 
haven't you any — ^any particular — ^prospects ? 

Tesman. 
Prospects? 

Miss Tesman. 
Good Gk)d, Gteorge — ^I'm your old aunt 1 



HEDDA Q ABLER. 81 

Tbsican. 
Oh, yes, I have proepects. 

MiBS Teskan. 
WeUl 

Tesman. 

I have an excellent chance of becoming a prof e»- ^ 
sor one of these days. ^ 

Miss Tesman. 
Tes, a professor ! 

Tesman. 

Or-I might even say, I am oertain of beoamiiig 
one. But, dear Annt Julie, jou know that just as 
well as I do ! 

Miss Tesman. 

[Oigglmg.'] Yes, of course I do. You are quite 
right about that. [Crosses over.'] But we were talk- 
ing about your journey. It must have cost a lot of 
money, George? 

Tesman. 

No, indeed. That large stipend went a long way 
toward paying our expenses. 



( 



22 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Miss Tesman. 

But I can scarcely understand how yon can have 
made it sufficient for two of you. 

Tesman. 

N09 no, it is not easy to make that out, is it? 
Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

And when it isa lady that is your travelling com- 
panion. For I've heard that that makes everything 
frightfully more expensive. 

Tesman. 

Yes, of course — ^rather more expensive it cer- 
tainly is. But Hedda was hound to have that jour- 
ney, Aunt ! She was really hovmd to have it. We 
could not have done anything else. 

Miss Tesman. 

No, no, you could not. A wedding-trip is quite 
the proper thing nowadays. But tell me — ^have you 
made yourself quite comfortable here in these 
rooms? 



HEDDA GABLER. 98 

Tesman. 

Oh, yes, indeed. I have been busy ever since 
it was light 

Miss Tesman. 
And what do you think of it all? 

Tesman. 

Splendid. Perfectly splendid ! The only thing 
I don't know is what we shall do with the two empty 
rooms between the back-room there and Hedda's 
bedroom. 

Miss Tesman. 

[Smiling,'] Oh, my dear George, you may find 
a use for them in the — course of time. 

Tesman. 

Yes, you are quite right about that, Aunt Julie. 
For, as I add to my collection of books, I shall — 
eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

Just so, my dear boy. It was your collection of 
books I was thinking about. 



34 hbdda qablbb. 

Tesman. 

I am moBt pleased for Hedda's sake. Before we 
were engaged she said that she never wanted to live 
anywhere else than in Mrs. Falk's villa. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, fancy ! — and that it should happen to be for 
sale just when yoa had started on yoor journey. 

Tesman. 

Yes, Annt Julie, there is no doubt we were in 
luck's way. Eh ? 

Miss Tesman. 

But espensive, my dear George ! It will be ex- 
pensive for you — ^all this place. 

Tesman. 

[Looks Toiher dispiritedly at her.] Yes, I daresay 
it will be, Aunt. 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh, my goodness ! 

Tesman. 
How much do you think ? Give a guess. Eh? 



HBDDA GABLES. 26 

MiBs Tesman. 
No, I can't possibly tell till all the bills come in. 

Tesman. 

Well, fortunately Judge Brack has bargained for 
lenient terms for me. He wrote so himself to 
Hedda. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, do not bother about that, my boy. Besides 
I have given security for the furniture and all the 
carpets. 

Tesman. 

Security ? You ? Dear Aunt Julie, what sort of 
security could you give? 

Miss Tesman. 
I have given a mortgage on our income. 

Tesman. 

[Jttmps up.] What I On your — and Aunt Bina's 
income! 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, yon know, I did not see any other way out 
of it. 



26 HEDDA GABLES. 

Tebman. 

[Stcmds in front of her.] But you must be mad, 
Aunt ! The income — ^that is the only thing which 
you and Aunt Bina have to live upon. 

Miss Tesman. 

Well, well, don't be so excited about it. It is all 
a matter of form, you know. Judge Brack said so 
too. For it was he who was so kind as to arrange 
the whole thing for me. Merely a matter of form, 
he said. 

Tesman. 
Yes, that may well be. But at the same time 



Miss Tesman. 

And now you will have your own salary to draw 
from. And, dear me, supposing we have to fork 
outalittle? Pinch a little at first ? Itwillmerely 
be like a pleasure for us, that wilL 

Tesman. 

Oh, Aunt, you will never be tired of sacrificing 
yourself for me t 



HEDDA 9ABLBR. S7 



MiBs Tesman. 

[Sta/nda vp cmd places her hcmda on his shoulders.'] 
Dojou think I have any other joy in this world 
than to smoothe the way. for yQU» my deai^ boy? 
Yon, who have never had a father or a mother to 
look after you. And now we stand close to the 
goal The prospect may have seemed a little black 
from time to time. But, thank God, it's all over 
now, George ! 

Tesman. 

Yes, it really is marveUous how everything has 
adapted itself. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, and those who opposed you — and tried to 
bar your way — they have all had to submit. They 
are fallen, George ! He who was the most danger- 
ous of all — ^he is just the one who has fallen worst. 
And now he lies in the pit he digged for himself — 
poor misguided man ! 

Tesman. 
Have you heard anything about Ejl^? Since I 

An-f. A.Xini.V. T TYlAflH. 



went away, I mean. 



S8 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Miss Tesman. 

Nothing, exoept that he has been publishing % 
new book. 

Tesman. j 

Not really? Ejlert Lovboig? Quite latelj? 
Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, they say so. Heaven knows if there can be 
much good in it. No, when your new book comes 
out — that will be something different, that will, 
Gborge! What is the subject to be? 

Tesman. 

It will treat of the domestic industries of Brabant 
during the Middle Ages. 

Miss Tesman. 

Fancy your being able to write about that as 
weU! 

Tesman. 

At the same time, it may be a long while before 
the book is ready. I have these extensive coUeo- 
tions, which must be arranged first of all, you see. 



HBDDA 9ABLER. 29 

MiBS Tesman. 

Yes, airajige and collect — jou are good at that. 
You are not poor Jochum's son for nothing. 

Tesman. 

I am 80 awfdlly glad to be going on with it. Es- 
pecially now that I have a comfortable house and 
home to work in. 

Miss Tesman. 

And first and foremost, now you have her who 
was the desire of your heart, dear George. 

Tesman. 

{Embriusea her.] Oh, yes, yes, Aunt Julie. Hedda 
— she is the loveliest part of it all ! [Looks toward 
the doorway.] I think she's coming now, eh ? 

[Hedda approaches frma the left through the hack 
room. She is a lady of twenty-nine. Face amd 
figure dignified and distinguished. The color of 
the skin vrnfomdy pallid. The eyes steel^ay, 
with a oold^ open expression of serenity. The 
ha&r a/a agreeable irown^ of medium tint, hut not 
very thick. She is dressed in tastefvly somewhat 
loose morning costume.] 



30 HEDDA GABLES. 

Miss Tesman. 
Good-morning, dear Hedda ! Good-moming ! 

Hedda. 

[Stretching her hand to her."] Good-moming, dear 
Miss Tesman ! Paying a visit so early ? That was 
friendly of you. 

Miss Tesman. 

[Seems a little embarrassed.'] Well, have you slept 
comfortably in your new home? 

Hedda. 
Oh, yes, thanks ! Tolerably. 

Tesman. 

[Laughs.'l Tolerably. Well, that is a joke, Hed- 
da ! You were sleeping like a stone, when I got 
up. 

Hedda. 

Fortunately. We have to accustom ourselves to 
everything new. Miss Tesman. It comes little by 
little. [Looks toward the left] Ugh ! — ^the girl has 



HEDDA QABLER. 81 

left the balcony door open. There is a perfect tide 
of sunshine in hera 

Miss Tesman. 
[Ches to the do(yr.'\ Well, we will shut it. 

Hedda. 

No, no, don't do that ! Dear Tesman, draw the 
curtains. That gives a softer light. 

Tesman. 

[At the dooT.I All right — ^all right. There, Hed« 
da — ^now you have both shade and fresh air. 

Hedda. 

Yes, there is some need of fresh air hera All 

these flowers But, dear Miss Tesman, won't 

jou sit down? 

Miss Tesman. 

No, thank you. Now I know that all is going on 
well here, thank Gkxl. And I must be getting home 
again now. To her who lies and waits there so 
drearily, poor thing. 



32 EEDDA GABLEB. 

Tesman. 

Give her ever so many kind messages from ma 
And say that I am coming over to see her to-day, 
later on. 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, I wilL Oh ! but — G^rge. [FwrnbUa in the 
pocket of her clodk.'\ I almost forgot. I have some* 
thing here for yon. 

Tesman. 
What is it, Amit ? Eh? 

Miss Tesman. 

[Brirvgs up a flai 'package vrrapped in newspaper 
and gives it to hinru\ Look here, my dear boy. 

Tesman. 

[Opens it.l No ! you don't say so. Have you 
really been keeping this for me. Aunt Julie ! Hed- 
da 1 This is positively touching I Eh? 

Hedda. 

[By the itagires to the Tight.'\ Yes, dear, what ia 
it? 



HBDDA GABLES. BB 

Tebman. 

M J old morning shoes ! My slippers I 

Hedda. 

Ah, jes ! I remember you so often spoke of them 
while we were travelling. 

Tesman. 

Tes, I wanted them so badly. [Ooes to heri 
You shall just look at them, Hedda. 

Hedda. 

[Ghes away toward the stove.l No, thanks, I real- 
ly don't care about doing that. 

Tesman. 

[Folloiomg her.] Just think — Aunt Eina lay and 

embroidered them for me. So ill as she was. Oh, 

you can't believe how many memories are bound up 

in them. 

Hedda. / 

[By the table.] Nc^t for me personally. >!v 

Miss Tesman. 

Hedda is quite right about that, Oeoxg^^ 
8 



84 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Tbsman. 

Yes, bat I thonght that now, now ahe belongB to 
the family. 

[Interrupting.] We shall never be able to get on 
with that servant, Tesman. 



/"O -r^ 



>jV r^^W Hedda. 



Miss Tesmam. 
Not get on with Bertha? 

Tesman. 

What do joa mean, dear ? Eh? 

Hedda. 

[PointsJ] Look there ! She has left her old hat 
behind her on the chair. 

Tesman. 

[Horrified^ drops the slippers on ffie floor ^ But 
Hedda — 

Hedda. 

Think — ^if any one came in and saw a thing of 
thatkind* 



HEDDA GABLEB. 86 

Tebman. 
Bat — ^bat Hedda — ^it is Aunt Jnlie's hat t 

Hedda. 
BeaUy? 

Miss Tesman. 

[Tdkes the hat.] Yes, indeed, it is mine. And it 
is not old at all, little Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 
I really did not look carefully at it, Miss Tesman. 

Miss Tesman. 

[Putting on the hcUJ] This is positively the first 
time I have worn it. Yes, I assure you it is. 

Tesman. 
And it is smart too I Beally splendid I 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh, only moderately, my dear George. [Looks 
arotmd.] My parasol? Here it is. [Takes U.] 
For this is also mine. [Mv/rmurs.] Not Bertha's. 



86 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Tesman. 
New hat and parasol ! Think of that, Heddat 

Hedda. 
And very nice and pretty they are. 

Tesman. 

Tes, are they not ? Eh ? But, Aunt, look care- 
fully at Hedda before you go. See how nice and 

pretty she is ! 

"^" Miss Tesman. 

Oh, my dear, there is nothing new in that, Hedda 
has been lovely all her days. 

[She nods cmd goes to the right.] 

Tesman. 

[Follows her.] Tes, but have you noticed how 
buxom and plump she has become ? How she has 
fflled out during our trip? 

Hedda. 
[Walks across the floor.] Oh ! don't 1 

Miss Tesman. 
[Stops amd turns around.] Filled out ? 



HEDDA GABLEB. 87 

Tebman. 

Yes, Aunt Jnlie, you don't notice it so much now 
she has her wrapper on. But I, who have oppor- 
tunity of 

Hedda. 

[A t the glass door^ impcUiently,} Oh, you have no 
opportunity for anything ! 

Tesman. 

It must be the mountain air down there in the 

Tyrol 

Hedda. 

[Sha/rply, interrupting,] I am exactly as I was 
when I started. 

Tesman. 

Yes, that is what you maintain. But I declare 
that you are not. Do not you think so, Aunt ? 

Miss Tesman. 

[Folds her hounds amd gaaes oi her.] Hedda is 
lovely — ^lovely — ^lovely. [Ooes to her, bends her head 
down v)ith both her hamdsy and hisses her hadr,] God 
bless and preserve Hedda Tesman. For George's 
sake. 



88 HEDDA QABLER. 

Hedda. 
\Oevdly releaaes herself.] Oh ! let me gfK 

Miss Tesman. 

[Qidetly o/gitatecLi, I shall come in to have a look 
at you every single day. 

Tesman. 

Yes, do, Aunt! Eh? 

Miss Tesman, 

Good-by — good-by ! 
[She goes out through the hall door. TE8iti[AN follows 
her out. The door stcmds haHf open. Tesman is 
heard to repeai his messages to Aunt Bina amd 
thamJesfor the slippers. At the same time, Hedda 
toalks across the floor, lifts her arms a/nd clenches 
her Jiands as if distracted. Draws the curtains 
from the glass door, remxiins sta/nding there, a/nd 
looks out. Shortly after, Tesman comes in again 
and shuts the door behind him.] 

Tesman. 

[Takes the slippers up from the floor.] What are 
you standing there and looking at, Hedda? 



HEDDA GABLES. 89 

Hedda. 

[Once more calm cmd self-possessed.] I was 
merely standing and looking out at the foliage. 
It is so yellow. And so withered. 

Tesman. 

[Picks up the slippers and lays them on the table.] 
Tes, we have got into September now. 

Hedda. 

[Agitaied agcdn.] Tes, think — ^we are already in 
—in September. 

Tesman. 

Did not you think Aunt Julie was odd ? Almost 
mysterious ? Can you make out what was the mat- 
ter with her? Eh? 

Hedda. 

I scarcely know her. Is she accustomed to be 
like that? 

Tesman. 
No, not as she was to-day. 



40 HBDDA &ABLBB. 



Hedda. 

[Goes away from the glass door.] Do jaa fhmk 
she was o£Eended about the hat? 

Tesman. 

Oh ! nothing much ! Perhaps just a veiy little 
for the moment 

Hedda. 

But what a way of behaving to throw one's hat 
away from one here in the drawing-room! One 
does not do that. 

XTC8MAN. 

Well, jou can depend upon it, Aunt Julie is not 
in the habit of doing so. 

Hedda. 

All the same I shall take care to make it all right 
again with her. 

Tesman. 

Tes, dear, sweet Hedda, you will do that, won't 
you? 



EEDDA G ABLER. 41 

Hedda. 

When you go to see them later on to-day, you can 
ask her to come here this evening. 

Tesman. 

Yes, that I certainly wilL And then there is one 
thing you could do which would please her im- 
mensely. 

Hedda. 
What? 

Tesman. 

li you could only persuade yourself to say 
"•riiou" to her. For my sake, Hedda? Eh? 

Hedda. 

No, no, Tesman — that you really must not ask me 
to do. I have told you so once before. I shall tiy 
to call her Aunt. And that must be enough. 

Tesman. 

Very weU, very weU But I merely thought, that 
now you belong t ^**-.». 



4S HBDDA GABLBB. 

Hedda. 

ffm — ^I am not perfectly sure. 

[Ooea across the fioor Unoard the door* 
toay.] 

XTC8MAN> 

[After a pause.] Is anything the matter -with 
you, Hedda? Eh? 

Hedda. 

I was merely looking at my old piano. It does 
not seem to match very well with aU the rest. 

Tesman. 

The first time I am paid we wiU see about getting 
it changed. 

Hedda. 

No, no— not changed. I will not have it taken 
away. We can put it into the back room. And 



'1'- <. .. 






HBDDA &ABLSB. 48 

Hedda. 

[Tdkes up the hovqvet on thepicmoJ] These flow- 
ers were not here when we came last night. 

Tesman. 
Aunt Julie must have brought them for yon. ' 

Hedda. 

[Looks into the bouquet.] A -visiting card. [Takes 
it out amd reads.] " Am coming again later in the 
day." Can yon guess whom it is from ? 

Tesman. 
No. From whom, then ? Eh ? 

Hedda. 
The name is ''Mrs. Elvsted." 

Tesman. 

Not really? Mrs. Elvsted! Miss Bysing, her 

name used to be. 

Hedda. 

Jnst so. She with the irritating hair which she 
went aronnd and made a. sensation with. Yonr old 
flame, Tye heard. 



4A HEDDA GABLEB. 

Tesman. 

[Lavghing.] Well, it did not last long. And 
that was before I knew you, Hedda, that was. But 
fancy her being in town! 

Hedda. 

Extraordinary that she should caU upon us. I 
have scarcely known her since our being at school 
together. 

Tesmak. 

Yes, and I have not seen her for — ^goodness knows 
how long. How she can endure Uving up there in 
that poky hole. Eh ? 

Hedda. 

[Considers^ a/nd svddefrdy say8.'\ Listen, Tesman 
—is it not up there that there is a place which he 
haunts — ^he — ^Ejlert Lovboi^? 

Tesmak. 

Yes, it is somewhere up there in that neighbor- 
hood. 

BsBTHA appea/ra in the hall door. 



HEDDA G ABLER. 45 

Bebtha. 

She has come again, ma'am — ^that lady who was 
here just now and left the flowers. \Point8.'\ Those 
jou are holding, ma'am. 

TTedda. 
Ah ! is she? Then will you show her in? 

Bebtha opens the door for Mbs. Elysted, and goes 
out herself. Mrs. Elvsted is a slevvder figure^ vdth 
a pretty f gentle face. The eyes are light blue, large^ 
rormdy amd somewhat prominefrvty vnth afrightervedy 
questioning eapression. Her hair is singvlarly 
brigJUf almost whit^-gold, o/nd wmsually copious 
a/nd vKwy. She is a year or ttvo yotmger than 
Hedda. Her costume is a darh visiting^ress, 
which is in good tCLste^ hut not in the latest fashum. 

Hedda. 

[Comes pleasoffMy to meet her.] Good-day, dear 
Mrs. Elvsted. It is awfully nice to see you again. 

Mbs. Eltsted. 

[Nervously trying to get setf-command.] Yes, it 
is Yeary long since we met. 



46 HEDDA GABLBR. 

Tesman. 

{Holding otd his Jumd to her.] And we two, alsa 
Eh? 

Hedda. 

Thanks, for your lovely flowers 

Mrs. Elybted. 

Oh, please — I wanted to have come here at onoe, 
yesterday afternoon. But when I heard that you 
were travelling 

Tesman. 
Are you just come to town ? Eh? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

I arrived at noon yesterday. Oh, I was so per- 
fectly in despair, when I heard you were not at 
homa 

Hedda. 

In despair I Why ? 

Tesman. 

But, my dear Mrs. Bysing — Mrs. Elvsted, I 
mean — - 



HSDDA GABLES. 47 

Hedda. 
I hope Ihem is nothing wrong, 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Yes, ihere is. And I don't know any other lining 
creatine whom I could appeal to. 

Hedda. 

[Ptds the bouquet on the tcAleJ] Come — ^let ns sit 
here on the sofa. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, I have not a moment's qniet to sit down. 

Hedda. 

Oh, yes, I am sure you have. Oome here. 

[She drags Mbb. Elysted doum on the 
so/a, amd sits at her side.l 

Tesman. 
Well ? And so, Mrs. 

Hedda. 
Has anything particular happened up at your 

place? 



48 HBDDA QABUSB. 

Mbs. Eltbtbd. 

Tea — ^it botii has and has not happened. Oh — ^I 
should be 80 extremely sorry if you misunderstood 

me 

Hedda. 

But the best thing you can do is to tell us the 
whole story, Mrs. Elvsted. 

Tesman. 
You haye come here on purpose to do that. Eh? 

Mbs. Elystbd. 

Yes, yes — ^that is so. And so I must tell you — 

if you don't know it already — ^that Ejlert Loyboig 

also is in town. 

Helda. 
Is Loyboig 

Tesman. 

No, you don't say that Ejlert Lovborg is oome 
back again 1 Think of that, Hedda ! 

Hedda. 
QtooA graoions^ I hear itl 



EEDDA QABLBB. 49 

Mbs. Eltbteix 

He has now been here a week. Just think of 
that — a whole week! In this dangerous town. 
Alone ! With all the bad company that is to be 
found here. 

Hedda. 

But, dear Mrs. Elvsted — ^how does he really con- 
cern you? 

Mbs. Eltstbd. 

[Looks terrified a/rovmd cmd soya rapidly. '\ H# 
was the tutor for the children. 

Hedda. 
For your children ? 

Mbs. Elvbted. 
For my husband's. I have nana 

Hedda. 
For your step-children, then. 

Mbs. Eltbtbd. 
Tea. 

4 



•0 HBDDA BABLMEL 

[ScmewTuxt hesitaiivgly.] Was he so far — ^I don'i 
quite know how to express myself — so far — ^r^olar 
in his mode of life that he could be set to that kind 
of employment ? Eh ? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Of late years there has been nothing to bring f op* 
waxd against him. 

Tesman. 
Has there not, really ? Fancy that, Hedda 1 

Hedda. 
I hear it. 

Mb& Elysted. 

Not the smallest thing, I assure yon I Not in any 
respect whatever. But at the same time — ^now, 
when I knew that he was here— in town — ^and a 
great deal of money passing through his hands! 
Now I am so mortally frightened for him. 

Tesman. 

But why did he not stay up there, where he was? 
With you and your husband? Eh? 



HBDDA OABLBB. 51 

Mb& Elybted. 

yfhesn, the book was published, he conld not settle 
down up there with us any longer. 

Tesican. 

Ah! that is true — ^Aunt Julie said he had brought 
out a new book. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Tes, a large new book, all about the progress of 
ciyilization. It was a fortnight ago. And now it 
is being bought and read so much — ^and has made 
such a great sensation 

Tesman. 

Has it really? It must be something he has had 
lying by him from his good days. 

Mbs. Elybted. 
Tou mean, from before ^ 

Tesman. 
Yesy of course. 



6S HEDDA Q ABLER. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

No, he has written it all since he haa been up 
with us. Now — ^within the last year. 

Tesman. 
That is good news, Hedda! Fancy thati 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Oh, yes, if only it might keep like that I 

Hedda. 
Have you met him here? 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

No, not yet. I have had the greatest difficulty in 
finding out his address. But I am reaUy to see him 
to-morrow. 

Hedda. 

[Gives her a secMrching look.] All things con- 
sidered, I think it seems a Uttle strange of your 
husband — ^h'm 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Nervously.] Of my husband ! What ? 



HEDDA GABLEB. 5S 

Hedda. 

To send yov, to town on such an errancL Not to 
oome in himself and look alter his friend. 

Mbs. Eltsted. 

Oh, no, no — JXij husband has no time for that. 
And there were — ^some purchases I had to make. 

Hedda. 

[Slightly smiling.] Ah, that is a different mat- 
ter. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Biaing quickly cmd uneasily. 1 And now I do beg 
you, Mr. Tesman, receive Ejlert Lovborg kindly, if 
he comes to you! And that he is sure to dol 
Gkx>d gracious, you used to be such great friends 
once. And you both go in for the same studies. 
The same class of knowledge — so far as I can judge. 

Tesman. 
Well, we used to, at all events. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

Tes, and therefore I do beg you so earnestly that 
you will — ^you too— that you will keep an eye upon 



S4t HBDDA GABLER, 

him. Oh ! yon will, won't you, Mr. Tesman — joa 
promise me you will? 



Teskan. 
Yes, I shall be veiy glad indeed, Mis. Bysing- 



Hedda. 
Mysted. 

Tesman. 

I shall do for Ejlert all that it is in my power to 
do. You can depend upon that. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Oh, how perfectly lovely that is of you ! \Pr eases 
his ha/nds.] Thanks, thanks, thanks I [ With a fright- 
ened expression.] Yes, for my husband is so very 
fond of him. 

Hedda. 

[BisingJ] You ought to write to him, Tesman. 
For perhaps he might not quite like to come to you 
of himseK. 

Tesman. 

Yesj that would be best, wouldn't it, Hedda? 
Eh? 



HEDDA QABLBB. 65 

Hedda. 

And do not put it o& Now, immediately, it 
seems to ma 

Mbs. Elysted. 
\8vppli(xdi'ng,'\ Oh, yes, if you would I 

Tesman. 

m write this veiy moment. Have you his ad- 
dress. Mis. — ^Mrs. Elvsted? 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Tes. [Takes a little slip of paper oid of her pocket 
and gives it to him.] Here it is. 

Tesman. 

Good, good. Then I will go in. [Looks around 
him.] That is true — ^the slippers? Now then. 
[Tehees the package amd is going.] 

Hedda. 

Be sure you write in a very cordial and friendly 
way to him. And write a pretty long letter, too. 



66 HBDDA GABLES. 

Tesman. 
Tes,IwilL 

Mbs. Elysted. 

But not a word to hint that I have been begging 
for him. 

Tesman. 

No, of course, not a word. Eh? 

[He goes through the back room to the 
left.] 

Hedda. 

[WcUka up to Mrs. Eltbted, smiles, cmd says in a 
low voice.] Well ! Now we have killed two birds 
with one stone. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

What do you mean? 

Hedda. 

Do you not understand that I wanted to get rid 
of him? 

Mbs. Elybted. 
Yes, that he might write the letter 



HEDDA GABLBB. 57 

Hedda. 
And also to have a chat alone with yon. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Ccnfused.'] About the same subject ? 

Hedda. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Distreaaed.'l But there is no more, Mrs. Tes« 
man ! Beally no more I 

Hedda. 

Oh, yes, indeed there is. There is a great deal 

more. I understand as much as that. Gome here 

— ^let us sit down and be perfectly frank with one 

another. 

[She presses Mbs. Elysted dotvn into the 

arrrirchair — hy the stove, and seats 

herself on owe of the footstools.] 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[A7ioDuyu8ly,looks other watch.] ButdearMrs. — — , 
I really intended to be going now. 



58 WBDBA QABLBB. 

Hedda. 

Oh ! {here cannot be any leason f cxr hurrying — ia 
there? Tell me a little how yoa are getting on at 
home. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, that is the very last thing I should wish to 
discuss. 

Hedda. 

But to me, dear ? Goodness, we went to the 

same school together. 

Mbs. Eltsted. 

Tes, bnt yon were in the class above me I Oh I 
how fearfully afraid of you I was then ! 

Hedda. 
Were you afraid of me? 

Mbs. Eltbtbd. 

Tes, fearfully afraid. Because, when we met on 
the stairs, you always used to puU my hair. 

Hedda. 
No, did I really? 



HBDDA GABLBB. 69 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Tea, and onoe yoa said you would Booioh it off my 
head. 

Hedda. 

Ohi thai was only nonsense, you know. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Yes, but I was so stupid iu those days. And 
then besides, after — ^we were separated so far — ^far 
from one another. Our circles were so entirely 
different. 

Hedda. 

Well, now we will try to come closer to each 
other again. Now listen I At school we said 
^'thou" to one another. And we called one an- 
other by our Christian names 

Mbs. Eltbtedl 
No^ yoa are certainly quite mistaken about that. 

Hedda. 

No, I am Blue I am not, no I I recollect it per- 
fectly. And we will be frank with one another, just 



J • 



60 HBDDA G ABLER. 

as we were in those old days. [Draws footdool 
nea/rer.] There 1 [Kisses her cheek,] Now say 
'^ihou" to me, and call me Hedda. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

[Presses cmd pats her ha/nds.] Oh, snoh goodness 
and friendliness ! It is something that I am not at 
all accustomed to. 

Hedda. 

There, there, there! And I shall say ''thou" to 
you, just as I used to do, and call you my dear 
Thora. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
My name is Thea. 

Hedda. 

So it is. Of course. I meant Thea. [Looks sig^ 
nificcmtly at herJ] So you are but little accustomed 
to goodness and friendliness, Thea? In your own 
home ? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, if Ihadahome! But I have not one. Have 
never had one. 



HEDDA GABLBR. 61 



Hedda. 



[Lookmg slightly at her.'] I had a susp^on of 
something of the sorL 

Mbs. Elysted. 

{Stafrimg hdpUaaly in front of %er.] Tea, yes, 

yes. 

Hedda. 

I cannot quite remember now. But was it not 

first as housekeeper that you went up there to the 

sheriff's? 

Mbs. Elybted. 

More properly as governess. But his wife — ^his 
then wife— she was an invalid, and confined to her 
bed most of the time. So I really had to undertake 
the housekeeping. 

Hedda. 

3ui then, at last, you became the mistroMholthe 

house . 
V^ '"" — Mbs. Elysted. 

[Dgected.] TflH^Xdid^ 

Hedda. 

Lei me see — about how long is it now, since 
then? 



ea EBDDA GABLBB. 

UB8. ELTBIEa 

mj maxiiage? 

Hedda. 

Mbs. Eltbtesd. 
It is now five jeara 

Hedba. 
Ah, yes ; it must be. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, those five years I Or, at all events, the last 
two or three. Oh, if you could realize 

Hedda. 
[Slaps her Tumd softly.] You ? Fie, Theal 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, no — ^I must get used to it. Tes, if — ^you 
merely could just realize and understand 

[Tries to use " thou " in the remcmder of the oomver^ 
sixUon, Imt frequevUly rdapsesinlo **you.^ 



HEDDA GABLEB. 63 



Hedda. 

[Casvally.'l Ejlert Lovborg has also been np 
ihere for three years I believe. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[LooTdng embarrassed at JierJ] Ejlert Lovborg? 
Yes, he has. 

Hedda. 

Did you know him aJready. from sediig him in 
town? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Scarcely at alL Yes, that is to say, by name of 
course. 

Hedda. 

But jip there in the coimtiy— he came to your 

liouse?^_ 
""^■"""■"^^ Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes , he came over to us every day. He had to 
read with tiie cmldren. T^or it became at last more 
than I could manage all by myself. 

Hedda. 

One can well understand that. And your hus- 
band? I suppose that he is often away travelling? 



84 HEDDA G ABLER. 

Mbs. ELySIBD. 

Yes. Yon can imagine that as sheriff lie has to 
travel aronnd the district. 

Hedda. 

[Leans on the arm of the chcdr.] Thea — ^poor, 
sweet Thea — ^now jon mnst tell me everything jnst 
as it is. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
Well, then you mnst ask me qnestiona. 

Hedda. 

What sort of a ma.1 is your husband reaUy, 
Thea? I mean, how is he, socially. Is he good to 
yon? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

[Evctaively.'] He believes that he does all for the 
best. 

Hedda. 

It seems to me that he mnst be too old for yon. 
More than twenty years older at least. 



HEDDA GABLEB. 65 

Mbs. Elybted. 

[In'itaied.] That too. One thing with another. 
Eyeijthing around him is distasteful to me I We 
do not possess a thought in common. Not one 
thing in the world, he and L 

Hedda. 

But is he fond of you, all the same? In his own 
way? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh! I don't know what he is. I am certainly '^ 
just useful to him. And it does not cost much to T 
keep me. I am cheap. >^ 

Hedda. 
That is stupid of you. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Shakes her head.] Can't be otherwise. Not 
with him. He is not really fond of anybody but 
himself. And perhaps of the children a little. 

Hedda. 

And of Ejlert Loyborg, Thea. 
6 



66 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Looks (U her.] Of Ejlert Lovboi^ I What makoB 
you think that? 

Hedda. 

But, dear — ^I thought that if he sends yon right 
in here to town after him [Smiles almost impercep- 
tibly.] — ^And then you yourself said so to Tesman. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[With a nervovs movement,] Well! Yes, I did 
say so. [Bursts ovt in a low voice,] No — ^I may 
just as well say it first as last I For it is sure to 
come to the light in any case. 

Hedda. 
But, my dear Thea 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Welly to make a dean breast of it ! My husband 
had no idea I had left home. 

Hedda. 
Beally I Did not your husband know that? 



HEDDA GABLEB. 6? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, of course not. Besides, he was not at home. 
He was travelling, he too. Oh, I could not bear it 
any longer, Hedda! Absolutely impossible! So 
lonely as I should be up there after this. 

Hedda. 
Well? And so? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

So I packed up some of my things, you see. 
What was most necessary. Quite quietly. And 
then I walked away from the house. 

Hedda. 
Without doing anyfliing else? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes. And then I took the train and came to 
town. 

Hedda. 
But, my dear Thea — ^fancy your daring to do it 1 



68 HBDDA GABLEB. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

[Bises cmd crosses the floor. "] Yes, and what else 
in the world should I do? 

Hedba. 

But what do yon think yonr husband will say 
when you go home again ? 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[At the tahUy looks at her.] Up there to him ? 

Hedda. 
Yes, of course I 

Mbs. Elysted. 
I shall never go up there to him any more. 

Hedda. 

[Bises a/nd approaches her.] Then you have — ^in 
serious earnest — ^gone away for good? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes. I did not think that there was anything 
else for me to do. 



HEDDA GABLES. 60 

Hedda. 
And so— you went qo perfectly openly. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, well 1 such things can't be really concealed, 
whatever you do. 

Hedda. 

But what do you suppose that people will say 
about you, Thea? 

Mbs. Eltsted. 

They may say exactly whateyer they please. \ 
[Sits dotvn loecmly cmd heavily on the sofa,] For I 
have done nothing more than what I was obliged to 
do. ' 

Hedda. 

[After a short silence,] What do you intend to do 
next? What will you take up? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

I don't know yei I only know that I must live 
here, where Ejlert LoVborg liyes — if I am going to 
five. 



70 HEDDA G ABLER. 

Hedda. 

[Moves a chmr it/earer^ away from the table^ mia 
dovm close to her^ cmd strokes her hands.] Thea — 
how did it come about — ^this friendship — ^between 
you and Ejlert Lovboig ? ' 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Oh, it came about little by little. I got a sort of 
power over him. 

Hedda. 
Ah? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

He gave up his old habits. Not because I begged 
him to. For I never dared to do that. But he 
noticed that I was vexed at them. And so he left 
off. 

Hedda. 

[Conceals an involuntary smile.] So you restored 
him — as people say — ^you, little Thea? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

Yes, at least that is what he says himself. And 
he— on his side— he has made a kind of real person 



HEDDA GABLEB. 71 

out of me. Taught me to think — ^and to under- \ 
stand certain things. j 

Hedda. 

Did he perhaps read with yon as well? 

Mrs. Elysted. 

No, not exactly read. But he talked to me. 
Talked about such an endless quantity of things. 
And then came the lovely happy time when I was 
able to take part in his work ! was allowed to help 
himl 

Hedda. 
So you did that ? 

Mrs. Elysted. 

Yes! When he wrote anything, he always wanted 
me to be with him. 

Hedda. 

Like two good comrades, I suppose. 

Mrs. Elysted. 

Ooin^ dfial Tes, think, Hedda — ^that was the 
very word he used. Oh ! I ought to feel so thor- 



78 HEDDA QABLBB. 

ooghlj happj. But I cannot any longer. For I 
don't know whether it is going to last 

Hedda. 
Are yoa no sorer of him than that? 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

[OloomUy^l A woman's shadow stands between 
Ejlert LoTboi^ and me. 

Hedba. 
[Looks keenly at Aer.] Who can that be? 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Don't know. Somebody or other from — ^from his 
former life. Someone whom he certainly has never 
really forgotten. 

Hedda. 
What has he said— aboat her? 

Mbs. ELTBTEa 
He merely once — ^in a casoal way referred to it» 



HEDDA G ABLER. 73 

Hedda. 
Well I And what did he say? 

Mbs. Elybted. 

He said that when they parted she wanted to 
shoot him with a pistol. 

Hedda. 

Woldly^ toith self-^iommmid X Oh, dear me ! No- 
&ody does that sort of thing here. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

No. And therefore I think it mnst be that red- 
haired opera-singer, whom he once 

Hedda. 
Tes, I should think it might be. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

For I recollect hearing it said that she went about 
with loaded firearms. 

Hedda. 
Well — ^then of course it is she. 



71 MMDDA QABLBR. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

[Wrings her Tiomda.'] Yes, but just think, Hedda 
— ^I have been hearing that that singer— dhLe_is.iiL 
town agaii^ Oh 1 — ^I am perfectly in despair. 

Hedda. 

[Glances toward the back room.] Hush ! There 
is Tesman coming. [Rises and whiypers.] Thea — 
all this must be between you and me. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Starting up.] Oh, yes ! yes ! for Gk)d's sake I 

Geobge Tesman, toith a letter in his hand, comes 
from the left through the back room. 

Tesman. 
There — ^the letter Is finished. 

Hedda. 

That is all right. But Mrs. Elvsted wants to be 
going, I think. Wait a moment. I will walk to 
the' garden-gate with you. 



HEDDA G ABLER. 7i 

Tesman. 
fiedda — can't Bertha attend to this? 

Hedda. 
{Takes the letter.] I will tell her ta 

Bebtha comes from the hall. 

Bebtha. 

Judge Brack is here and says he shotdd so much 
]ike to see you and master. 

Hedda. 

Yes, ask the Judge to be so kind as to come ixh 
And, Bertha^ listen — ^just post this letter. 

Bebtha. 
[Takes the Utter.] Yes, ma'am. 

She opens the door for Jxtdge Bbaoe and goes ottt her" 
self The Jxtdge is a gentleman of forty-Jive. 
Short and well built, and elastic in his movements. 
Face rotmd, with distinguished profile. Hair ctd 
skortf still almost black and carefully brushed. 



76 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Eyes bright and yparMing; eyebrows thick; mus* 
tache the same^ with toaaced ends. He is dressed in 
cm eUgcmt walking swU^ a little too juvenile for his 
age. Uses an eyeglass^ which now and then he lets 
drop. 

JXTBGE BbAQE. 

[BowSf with his hat in his hand."] May I yentoie 
to call so early in the day ? 

Hedda. 
Yes, indeed. 

TeS1£AN. 

[Presses his hrnid.] You are always welcome. 
[Presenting him.] Judge Brack-^Miss Eysing— - 

Hedda. 
H'ml 

Bbaoe. 

[Botmng.] Ah — ^it is a great pleasure——— 



Hedda. 

[Looks at him and lantghsJ] It seems awfully 
fanny to look at you by daylight, Judge ! 



HBDDA G ABLER. 77 

Bbaok. 
Altered perhaps yon find? 

Hedda. 
Tes, a little younger, I think 

Brack. 
Sinoerest thanks ! 

Tesman. 

But what do yon think of Hedda? Eh? Does 
not she look weU ? She positiyely 

Hedda. 

Oh I do leave off discussing me. Bather thank 
the Judge for all the trouble he has had 

Bbaoe. 
Oh, dear me — ^it was a positive pleasure 



Hedda. 

Tes, you are a loyal soul I But my friend here 
is standing, and all impatience to be off. Au 



78 HBDDA GABLEB. 

revoir^ Judge. I shall be back here again in a 

moment. 

[OreeHngspass. Mbs. ELTBTEDcm(2HEi>- 

DA go otd throvgh the hcUl door.] 

Bbaoe. 

Well — ^is yaar wife pleased on the whole? 

TeS1£AN. 

Yes, thank you so very much. That is to say — a 
little shifting here and there will be necessary, I 
understand. And there are a few things wanting. 
We shall be obliged to order in some little matters. 

Brace. 
Indeed! Beally? 

Tesman. 

But you must not take any trouble about that. 
Hedda said that she would attend herself to any- 
thing that is wanted. Shall we sit down? Eh? 

Bbaoe. 

Thanks, just a moment. [Sits close to the table.] 
There is something I wanted to speak to you about, 
my dear Teaman. 



HBDDA a ABLER. 79 

Tesman. 

Indeed? Ah, of course. [Sits dotvnJ] It is no 
doubt time to think about the serious part of the 
feast. Eh? 

Bbage. 

Oh, there is no such great hurry about settling 
the money aflfairs. At the same time I can't help 
wishing that we had made our arrangements a Uttle 
more economically. 

Tesman. 

But that would never have done. Think of Hed- 
da ! Tou, who know her so well — I could not pos- 
sibly have settled her in mean surroundings. 

Bbaoe. 
No, no. That, of course, was just the difficulty. 

Tesman. 

And so, fortunately, it cannot be long before I am 
appointed. 

Bbage. 

Oh, you see, these things often drag on for a long 
^ime. 



80 EBDDA QABLBB. 

Tesican. 

Do jaa liappen to have heard anyihiiig more pie- 
dae? Eh? 

Brack. 

Not anything absolutely definite. [Breaking off.] 
But it is true — ^I have one piece of news to give 
you. 

Teskan. 
Ah?. 

Bbagk. 

Tour old friend, Ejlert Loyboig, has oome back 
to toi¥n. 

Tbsman. 
I know that already. 

Brack. 
Indeed? How did you find it out? 

Tesman. 

She told me — ^that lady who went out with Hed« 
da. 



HEDDA GABLES. 81 

Bbaok. 

Ah, indeed! TVbat was her name? I did not 
quite catch 

TsSlfAN. 

Mrs. ElTBted. 

Brace. 

Aha ! — ^then she's the sheriffs wife. Tes, it is up 
there with them that he has been staying. 

Teskan. 

And fancy — ^I hear, to my great joy, that he is a 
perfectly respectable member of society again. 

Bbaok. 
TeSy they maintrfvin that that is sa 

And so he has published a new booL Eh? 

Brack. 
Bless me, yes 1 

Tesman. 

And it has made a sensation. 
6 



82 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Brack. 
The sensation it has made is quite extraordinaiy. 

Tesman. 

Fancy — ^is not that good news to hear? He, 
with his marvellous gifts. I was so painfidly cer- 
tain that he had gone right down for good. 

Bbage. 
And that was the general opinion about him. 

Tesman. 

But I can scarcely conceive what he will take to 
now ! How in the world wiU he be able to make a 
Uving? Eh? 

Hbdda, dwring these last words ^ has entered fhfrough 

the hall door. 

Hedda. 

[To Brace, lavghs samewhai scornfully.] Tesman 
is always going about in a fright lest people should^ 
not be able to make a living. 



HEDDA GABLMB. 98 

Tesman. 

Gkxxl gracious, my dear, we are talking about 
poor Ejlert Lovborg. 

Hedda. 

[Looks a ha/rpl y at him.] Ah? [Sits in the a/mi' 
chair by the stove^ and asks^ indifferently.] What is 
the matter with him ? 

Tesman. 

Well, he certainly ran through all his property 
long ago. And he can't write a new book every 
year. Eh ? Well — then I do seriously ask, what is 
to become of him ? 

Bbaoe. 
Perhaps I can tell you a little about that. 

Tesman. 
Beally? 

Bbaok. 

You must remember that he has relatives who 
have considerable influence. 



84 REDD A Q ABLER. 

Tesican. 

Oh, tmf ortnnately his relatiyeB have entiiely 
washed their hands of him. 

Bbaoe. 
They used to call him the hope of the family. 

Tesman. 

YeSy they used to, yes ! But he has forfeited all 
that. 

Hedda. 

"Who knows? [Smiles sligJdly.] Up there in 
Sheriff Elvsted's family they have restored him 



Bbaoe. 
And then this book that has been published- 



Tesman. 

Yes, yes, we can only hope that they may be will- 
ing to help him in one way or another. I have jnst 
written to him, Hedda, dear ; I asked him to drop 
in this eyening. 



HEDDA GABLES. 85 

Brack. 

Bat, my dear friend, yon are coming to my bach- 
elor party this evening. You promised yon would, 
on the quay last night. 

Hedda. 
Had you forgotten that, Tesman? 

Tesman. 
Tes, the truth is I had forgotten it 

Braok. 

Besides, you may rest perfectly sure that he will 
not come. 

Tesman. 
Why do you think that? Eh? 

Brack. 

[Loitering a little^ rises cmd rests his hcmds on the 
back of the chcdr.] Dear Tesman — and you too, 
Mrs. Tesman-I am not justified in leaving you in 
ignorance about a matter which — ^which 



86 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Teskan. 
Which concemB Ejlert? ^ 

Bbaoe. 
Both you and him. 

Tesman. 
Bnt, dear Judge, let us know what it is ! 

Bbaoe. 

You must be prepared for your appointment per- 
Aaps not taking place quite so soon as you desire 
and expect. 

Tesman. 

[Jumpiv/g up wieasilyJ] Has anything happened 
to prevent it? Eh? 

Bbaoe. 

The possession of the post might possibly de- 
pend on the result of a competition 

Tesman. 
Competition ! Fancy that Hedda ! 



HEDDA GABLEB. 87 

Hedda. 
\Lecm8 fa/rtJier hack in her chcdr.] Ah I 

Tesman. 

Bnt with whom? For you never mean to saj 

with 

Bbage. 

Yes, that's just it. With Ejlert Lovborg. 

Tesman. 

[Clasps his hands together.] No, no — ^that is per- 
fectly inconceivable. Absolutely impossible. Eh ? 

Bbaoe. 

H'm — ^it may come to be matter of experience 
with UB. 

Tesman. 

No, but, Judge Brack — that would show the most 
incredible want of consideration for me ! [Ghstio- 
ulating.'] Yes, for — consider — I am a married man ! 
We married on my prospects, Hedda and L Gone 
off and spent a lot of money. Borrowed money 
from Aunt Julie too. For, good Lord ! I had em 
good as a promise of the appointment. Eh? 



88 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Well, well, well — and you will get the appomt- 
ment all the sama But there will be a oonteat 
first. 

Hedda. 

[MotUmleaa in the armrchcdr.] Think, Tesman — 
it will be almost like a kind of gama 

Tesman. 

But, dearest Hedda, how can yon sit there and be 
so calm about it? 

Hedda. 

[As before.] I am not doing so at alL I am per- 
fectly excited about it. 

Brace. 

In any case, Mrs. Tesman, it is best that you 
should know how matters stand. I mean — ^before 
you carry out those Uttle purchases that I hear you 
are intending. 

Hedda. 
That can make no difference. 



hedda gables. 89 

Brack. 

Beally ? That is anoiher matter. Good-by. [To 
TeammL] When I take my attemoon walk, I shall 
come in and fetch yoiL 

Tesmah. 
Oh, yes, yes 

Hedda. 

[Lying back, stretches out her hcmcL} Gkx)d-by, 
Judge. And come soon again. 

Brack. 
Many thanks. Gkx)d-by, good-by. 

[Follows him to the door.] Good-by, dear Judge 1 
Ton must really excuse me. 

[Judge Brack goes out through the h/cUU 
door.] 

Tesmah. 

[Crosses the floor.] Oh, Hedda — one should 
never yentnie into fairy-land. Eh? 



00 HEDDA G ABLER. 

Hedda. 

[Looks at Mm cmd smiles,] Is that what yoa are 
doing? 

Teskan. 

/ Yes, dear — ^there is no denying it — it was an ad- 
' venture in fairyland to go and get married and 



I settle into a house on mere empty prospects. 

Hedda. 
Perhaps yon are right abont that. 

Tesman. 

Well, at all events we have onr comfortable home, 
Hedda ! Fancy — ^the home that we both went and 
dreamed about. Baved about, I may ahnost say. 
Eh? 

Hedda. 

[Bises slowly cmd wearily.] That was the agree- 
ment, that we should be in society. Keep house. 

Tesman. 

Yes, good Lord ! how I have looked forward to 
that ! Fancy, to see you as a hostess — ^in a select 
Girde 1 Eh? Yes, yes, yes, for the present we two 



HBDDA GABLEE. 91 

mnst keep onrselyes veiy much to onrselyes, Hedda. 
Merely see Aunt Julie now and then. Oh, my dear 1 
it was to have been so very, very different ! 

Hedda. 

Of course I shall not have a liveried servant now, 

at first. 

Tesman. 

Oh, no— unfortunately. We can't possibly talk 
about keeping a man servant, yon see. 

Hedda. 
And the horse for riding, that I was to have 



Tesman. 
[Horrified.'l The horse for riding 1 

Hedda. 
I shall not think of having now. 

Tesman. 
No, good gracious 1 — ^I should rather think not ! 

Hedda. 

[Croasea the floor.] Well, one thing I have to 
amuse myself with meanwhile. 



92 MEDDA GABLEB. 

Tesman. 

[Beaming with joy.] Oh, God be praised and 
thanked for that ! And what may that be, Hedda? 
Eh? 

Hedda. 

[At the doorway^ looks ai him with her hcmd conr 

cealecL] My pistols, George. 

^ ' ■— ' . ' — - 

Tesman. 
[In an agony.] The pistols ! 

Hedda. 

[With cold eyes.] General Gbbler's pistols. 

[She goes through the hack room out to 
the left.] 

Tesman. 

[Runs to the doorway and shouts after her.] - No, 
for goodness sake, dearest Hedda, don't touch the 
dangerous things ! For my sake, Hedda ! Eh? 

END OF FIBST ACT. 



ACT n. 

The room at Tesmak's, as in the first ad, only thai 
the pkmo/orte is taken a/uoay^ amd am, elegant writ' 
ing-tahley vnth a hookrcase^ is put in the place of it. 
A smoHlefr table is placed close to the sofa, to the 
left. Most of the bouqnets offioivers have been 
removed. Mbs. Elybted's Vouqtiet stands on the 
larger table in the front of the floor. It is after^ 
noon. 

Hedda, dressed to receive caller Sy is alone in the room. 
She stands by the open glass door, and loads a re- 
volver. The fellow to it lies in cm open pistoTrcase 
on the writing-table. 

Hedda. 

[Looks down the garden^ amd shcyais^ Good-day, 
again, Judge ! 

Judge Bbaoe. 

\Is heard from below.] The same to you, Mrs. 
Teemanl 



94 HEDDA Q ABLER. 

Hedda. 

[Lifis the pistol and aims.] I am going to shoot 
you, Judge Brack ! 

Bbaoe. 

[Shovia out below.] No, no, no — don't stand there 
aiming at me ! 

Hedda. 

That's the result of coming in the back way. 

[Shejires.] 

Bbaoe. 
[Near.] Are you perfectly mad? 

Hedda. 
Oh, my God! Did I hit you? 

Bbaoe. 
[Still outside.] Don't play such silly tricks I 

Hedda. 
Then come in, Judga 



HBDDA GABLES. 96 

JiTDGE Bbaoe, in morning dreaSf comes in throvgh the 

glass door. He carries a light overcoat on his 

amu 

Bbaoe. 

TVliat the deyil are you doing with that revolver? 
What are you shooting? 

Hedda. 

Oh, I was only standing and shooting up into the 

blue sky. 

Bbaoe. 

[TaJces the pistol gently ovJt of her hand.] Allow 

me, Mrs. Tesman. [Looks at it.] Ah! — ^I know 

this welL [Looks around.] Where is the case? 

Ab, yes. [Pvts the pistol into ity amd closes it.] For 

we are not going to have any more of that tomf ool^ 

ery to-day. 

Hedda. 

Well, what in the name of goodness would you 
have me do to amuse myself? 

Bbaoe. 
Have you had no visitors? 

Hedda. 

[Shuts the glass door.] Not a single one. All 
our intimate friends are still in the country. 



96 HEDDA Q ABLER. 

Bbaok. 

And is not Tesman at home, either? 

Hedda. 

[Stcmda aJt the writing-table^ cmd shuts the ptstoU 
case up in the drawer,] No. Directly after lunch 
he ran off to his aunt's, for he did not expect yon 
so early. 

Bbaoe. 

H'm. I ought to have thought of thai It was 
stupid of me. 

Hedda. 
[Turns herheadofftd looks at Am.] Why stupid? 

Bbaoe. 

Because, if I had thought of it^ I would haswrn 
come here a little — earlier. 

Hedda. 

[Crosses the floor,] Yes, you would then haTe 
found nobody at aU. For I have been in and 
dressed myself for the afternoon. 



HBDDA GABLBB. 97 

Bbaoe. 

And there is not so mach as a little crack of a 
door that one could have parleyed through? 

Hedda. 
You forgot to arrange for thai 

Bbaoe. 
That was stupid of me, toa 

Hedda. 

Now let us sit down here and wait, for Tesman is 
sure not to be home for a good while yet. 

Brace. 
Well, well — good Lord, I shall be patient. 

[Hedda aiia in the sofa comer. Bbaoe lays his 
paletot over the back of the nearest chair cmd sits 
doum^ but keeps his hat in his hand. Short pwuse. 
They look at one another.] 

Hedda. 
Wdl? 



98 HEDDA QABLSn. 

Bbagk. 

[In {he wffM toneJ] Well? 

Hedda. 
It was I who asked fiist 

Bbaok. 

[Bends fortoard a little.] Tes, let ns liave a little 
chat together, Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 

[Lecms foHher bach in the so/cl] Does it not 
seem to you a perfect age since we had a talk to- 
gether last? Oh, yes; that chatter yesterday even- 
ing and this morning — ^I don't connt that as any- 
thing. 

Bbagk. 

But between onrselves? TSte^drt&e, do yoa 
mean? 

Hedda. 
Oh, yes. That sort of thing. 



HEDDA QABLER. 99 

BBiLOE. 

Every single day I have been here, longing to 
have you home again. 

Hedda. 

And all the time I have been wishing the same 
thing. 

Bbaoe. 

You? Eeally, Mrs. Hedda? And I, who fan- 
cied you were having such a delightful time on 
your journey. 

Hedda. 
Oh, you can imagine that. 

Bbaoe. 

But that is what Tesman always said in his let- 
ters. 

Hedda. 

TeSy he I For him, the nicest thing in the world , ^ 
is to go and rummage in Ubraries. And to sit and' y 
copy out of old pages of parchment — or whatever it , 
may happen to be. 



100 HEDDA GABLER. 

Bbaok. 

[Bcuther mcUiciovsly.] Well, that is his business 
in the world — or partly, at least. 

Hedda. 

Yes, it is. And then one may, perhaps — ^but 1/ 
Oh, no, dear Judge. I have been horribly bored. 

Bbaoe. 

[Sympathetically.] Do you really mean that? 
In serious earnest? 

Hedda. 

Yes. You can fancy for yourself. For a whole 
half year not to meet a single person who knows 
anything about our set, and whom one can talk to 
about our own afiiedrs. 

Bbaoe. 

No, no — that / should feel was a great depriva- 
tion. 

Hedda. 
And then, what is the most intolerable of all 



HEDDA QABLER. 101 



BBiLOE. 

WeU? 

Hedda. 

Ever lagtiBgly to be in the company of — of one 
and the same 



i^-V ■ P ^ Pi»hi 



Bbaoe. 

[Nods in approval] Late and early — yes. 
Fancy — at all possible times. 

Hedda. 
I said everlastingly. 

Bbaoe. 

Tes. And yet, with our excellent Tesman, I 
should have thought that one could have man- 
aged 

Hedda. 
Tesman is — a professional person, my dear. 

Bbaoe. 
Oan't deny that. 



102 EBDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 

And professional persons are not ftTWTifliTig to 
travel with. Not in the long run, at least. 

Bbaoe. 

Not even— the professional person— one is jnfotH? 
with? 

Hhdda. 
/ Ugh I — don't nse that hackneyed phrase. 

Bbaoe. 
]8ta/rtled.'\ What now, Mrs. Hedda? 

Hedda. 

[Half in laughter y hxdf in a^erJ] Tes, just you 
try it for yourself ! To hear talk about the history 
of civilization from the first thing in the morning 
till the last thing at night 

Bbaoe. 
Everlastingly 



HEDDA QABLBR. 108 

Hedda. 

Yes, yes, yes ! And then about the domestic in- 
dustries of the Middle Ages. That is the most 

hideous of all ! 

Brace. 

\Looh8 aearchingly at her.] But tell me, how am 
I really to imderstand that ? H'm. 

Hedda. 

That I and George Tesman made up a pair of us, 

do you mean? 

Bbaoe. 

Well, let us express it so. 

Hedda. 

Good liord ! do you see anything so wonderful in 

that? 

Bbaoe. 

Both yes and no, Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 

I had really danced till I was tired, my dear 
Judge. My time was over. Oh, no; I won't 
exactly say that — ^nor think it, either. 



104 HEDDA BABLBM. 

Bbacol 

Yon have poeitiyely no reason whatever for 
thinking so. 

Hedda. 

Oh — treason. [Looks seanrchingly ai him.'] And 
George Tesman — ^he mnst be admitted to be a pre- 
sentable person in every respect. 

Bbaoe. 
Presentable ! I should rather think sa 

Hedda. 

And I do not discover anything actually ridicu- 
lous about him. Do you? 

Braoe. 

Bidiculous? No-o, that is not quite the word I 
should use. 

Hedda. 

Well, but he is an awfully industrious collector, 
all the same ! I should think it was possible that 
in time he would be quite a success. 



MEDDA QABLER. 105 

Bbaoe. 

. [Looks inquiringly at her.] I supposed you\ 
^^o^ like everybody else, ti^t he was going to \ 
be a very distinguished man. 

Hedda. 

\ 

[With a weary expresdovL] Yes, I did. And \ 
then he would go and make such a tremendous fuss 
about being allowed to provide for me. I did not 
know why I should not accept it. ' 

Bbaoe. 
No, no. Looked at from that point of view * 



Hedda. 

It was more than my other friends in waitinfi^ 
were willing to do. Judge. 

Bbaoe. 

[Lavgha.] Tes. I camiot positively answer for 
all the others ; but, as &r as regards myself, you 
know very weU that I have always nourished 



106 HBDDA GABLEB. 

certain respect for the marriage tie. Generally 
speaking, Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 

[Moching.] I never formed any expectations with 
respect to you. 

Bbaok. 

All that I wish for is to have a pleasant, confi- 
dential circle of associates, whom I can serve by 
word and deed, and be allowed to go in and out 
among — ^as a tried friend 

Hedda. 
Of the man of the house, do you mean? 

Bbaoe. 

[Bows.] To say the truth — most of all of the 
lady. But next to her, of the husband, of course. 
Do you know that such a — ^let me say such a three- 
cornered arrangement — ^is really a great comfort to 
aU parties. 

Hedda. 

Yes, I have often realized the want of a third, 
while we have been travelling. Ugh I to sit t€te-J^ 
t^te in the coup6. 



HEDDA QABLEJEL 107 

Bbaoe. 
Happily, the wedding journey is over now 



Hedda. 

[Shakea her head.] The journey wiU be a long 
one — ^a long one yet. I have merely stopped at a 
station on the route. 

Bbaoe. 

Well, then one jumps out. And one amuses one's 
self a little, Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 
I shall never jump out. 

Bbaok. 
Beally, never? 

Hedda. 

Na For there is always somebody here, who 



Bbaoe. 

[IdcmgJmg.] Who looks at one's legs, do yoa 
mean? 



108 HEDDA GABLES. 

Hedda. 
Just that. 

Bbaoe. 
Well, but, dear me 

Hedda. 

[ With a forbidding gesture.'] Don't like it. So I 
shall stay there sitting — where I now am. T6te-i^ 
tSte. 

Bbaoe. 

WeU, but then a third person gets in and joins 
the couple. 

Hedda. 

Ah well ! That is another question. 



Bbaoe. 
A tried, experienced friend- 



Hedda. 

Entertaining one with all sorts of lively sub- 
jects 

Brack. 

And not a trace of the professional persont 



HBDDA GABLBR. 10% 

Hedda. 

[Atidibly drawing in her breaihJ] Yes, that cer- 
tainly is a lelieL 

BBiLOK. 

[Heare the ouier door opened^ and gives a glance.] 
The triple alliance is concluded. 

Hedda. 
[Whiepers.] And so the train starts again. 

Geobge TESMANy in a gray walking-suit and soft felt 
hat^ comes in from the hall. He has a nwmber of 
mbomvd books tmder his arm a/nd in his pockets. 

Tesican. 

[Walks up to the table at the settee.] Pnf ! It was 
pretiy hot, dragging all these things here. [Puts 
the books down.] I am all in a perspiration, Hed- 
da. Well, well — so you have come, my dear 
Judge? Eh? Bertha did not tell me thai 

Bbaok. 
[Rises.] I came up through the garden. 



110 HEDDA QABLEB. 

Hedda. 
What books are those you have bronght? 

Tesman. 

[8ixmd8 cmd turns over the pageaJ] Some new 
professional publications I was obliged to get. 

Hedda. 
Professional publications? 

Bbaok. 

Aha! they are professional publications, Mrs. 

Tesman. 

[Bbaok cmd Hedda eaxihamge a jsov^jfidefor 

tial amileJ] 

Hedda. 
Do you need any more professional publications ? 

Tesman. 

Tes. My dear Hedda, one can never have too 
many. One must follow what is written and 
printedt 



HEDDA QABLEB, 111 

Hedda. 
Tea, one must 

Tesman. 

[Hcmdlmg the hooka.l And look here; I have 
got E jlf^rt "Lovborg'p new book too. [Passes it to 
her.] Do you care to glance at it, Hedda? Eh? 

Hedda. 

No, many thanks. Or — ^yes, perhaps I will pres- 
ently. 

Tesman. 
I looked through it a little as I came along. 

Bbaoe. 

Well, what do you think of it — ^as a professional 
man? 

Tesman. 

I think it is wonderful how thoughtfully it is 
worked out. He never wrote so well before. [Col- 
lects the books in a heap.] But now I will cany all 
these in. It will be a pleasure to cut them all 
open ! And I must change my dothes a little. [To 



112 HEDDA GABLEB. 

* 

Bbaok.] We dcm*t need to start just this moment? 
Eh? 

BBiLOK. 

Oh, dear no ; there is not the slightest hnxiy. 

Tesman. 

Very well, then I will take my time. \_Ooe8 off 
with the books, hut pauses in the doorway a/nd tums.l 
By the way, Hedda, Annt Julie is not coming to see 
you this evening. 

Hedda. 

Why not? Is it that affidr of the hat which pre- 
Yents her? 

Tesman. 

Oh, dear no. How can you think such athing of 

Aunt Julie? Faacy ! But Aunt Bina is so 

awfully poorly, you see. 

Hedda. 
She is always that. 

Tesman. 

Tes, but to-day she was worse than usual, poor 
thing. 



HBDDA GABLES. 113 

Hedda. 

Well, then it was perfectly reasonable that the 
other should stay with her. I will put up with it. 

Tesman. 

And you cannot imagine how awfully pleased 
Aunt Julie was, too, because you looked so well 
after your journey. 

Hedda. 
[Aside, rises.} Oh, those^yedastii^^ 

Tesman. 
What? 

Hedda. 

[Ooes to the glass doors.} Nothing. 

Tesman. 
By-by, then. 

[He goes through the backroom out to ths 

righL} 

Brack. 

What was that you were saying about a hat? 
8 



114 HEDDA BABLSOL 

Hedda. 

Oh ! it was only somethiiig about MuaB Tesman 
yesterday. She threw her hat down upcrn a diair. 
[Looks est him cmd smiles.] And so I pretended to 
think it was the servant-maid's. 

Brack. 

[Shakes his head.] But, dear Mrs. Hedda^ how 
conld yoa do it? Such a nice old lady ! 

Hedda. 

[Nervouslj/y crosses the floor.] Tes, you see, it 
just takes me like that all of a sudden. And then 
I cam!t help doing it. [Throws herself down into the 
armrchair near the stove.] Oh, I don't know how I 
am to explain it. 

Bbaoe. 

[Behn^nd the armrchadr.] You are not really: jiafh. 
py : that is what is the matter. 

Hedda. 

' [Looks in frorU of her.] I don't know why I 
should be — ^happy. Or can you perhaps tell me? 



HEDDA GABLBB. 116 

Bbaok. 

Tea ; among other reasons because yoa have got 
just the home that you were wishing for. 

Hedda. 

[Looks up at him cund lavghs.] Do you, too, be- 
lieve in that story of the wish? 

Is there nothing in it, then? 

Hedda. 
Tes, to be sure ; there is something. 

Bbaoe. 
WeU? 

Hedda. 

There is this in it, that I used Tesman to take me 
home from eyening parties last summer. 

Bbaok. 
Unfortunately, I liyed in the opposite direction. 



116 HEDDA QABLEE. 

Hedda. 

That is tme. Tou went in the opposite diiection 
last summer. 

Bbaoe. 

[Lavghs.l Shame upon you, Mrs. Hedda ! Well, 
but you and Tesman ? 

Hedda. 

TeSy well, we came by here one evening. And 
Tesman, poor fellow, he was at his wit's end to 
know what to talk about. So I thought it was too 
bad of such a learned person 



Bbagk. 
[Smiling dvbiovslyi] Did you ? H'm- 



Hedda. 

Tes, I positively did. And so— in order to help 
him out of his misery — ^I happened, quite thou^bJc? 
lessly, to say that I should like to live in this villa. 

Bbaoe. 
Nothing more than that? 



MBDDA GABLBR. 117 



Hedda. 
Not that eyening. 

BBiLOE. 

But afterward ? 

Hedda. 



Tea. My thoughtlessness had consequences, dear 
Judge. 

Bbaoe. 

I 



i 



Unfortunately, your thoughtlessnesses only too 
often haye, Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 

Thanks ! But it w as in this en&usiasm f or Mr. 
£alk!a.jdl2a^.^at^Geo 
mon ground^ do you see? That was the cause of i 
engagement, and marriage, and wedding-tour, and 
all the rest of it. Yes, yes. Judge, one builds one's 
nest and one has to lie in it, I was almost saying. 

Bbaok. 

That is extraordinary. And so you really scarcely 
cared for this place at all ? 



118 HEDDA GABLES. 

Hedba. 
N09 goodnefls knows I did not 

Brack. 

TeSy bat now? Now that you have got it aiv 
ranged like a home for you? 

Hedda. 

Ugh ! there seems to me to be a smell of lavender 
and pot pourri in all the rooms. But perhaps 
Aunt Julie brought that smell with her. 

Bbaoe. 

[LcmgJmg.] No, I think that must be a relic of 

Mrs. Falk. 

Hedda. 

TeSy it belongs to some dead person. It reminds 
me of flowers at a ball, the day after. [Folds her 
hands behind her rvecky leans hack in the chair amd 
looTcs at him.] Oh, Judge, you cannot conceive 
how frightfully.bored I shall be out here. 

• Bbaoe. 

Is there no occupation you can turn to to make 
life interesting to you, Mrs. Hedda? 



HSDDA aABLBR. 119 



Hedda. 

An occupation in which there might be some- 
thing attractiye? 

Bbaok. 
Of course. 

Hedda. 

Gkx)dness knows what sort of an occupation that ^ 

might be. I often wonder whether [Inter^ 

rupta herself.'] But it will never come to anything, / 
either. / 

Bbaoe. 

Who knows? Let me hear what it is. 

Hedda. 

Whether I could get Tesman to take to politics, \ 

I mean. / 

Bbaoe. 

[Laugha.l Tesmau ! No, don't you know, such 
things 88 politics, they are not the sort of occupa- 
tion for him, not the least. 

Hedda. 

No, I believe that is sa But could I not make 
him take them up all the same? 



ISO HEDDA OABLEB. 

Brack. 

Te8» what satisf action would that be to yoa if 
he is not a saooesB ? Why would you have him do 
that? 

Hedda. 

Because I am bored, I tell yon. [After a pauae.l 
Do you think it would be absolutely impossible for 
Tesman to become a cabinet minister? 

Bbaok. 

H'my you see, dear Mrs. Hedda, in order to be- 
come that he must, first of all, be a tolerably rich 
man* 

Hedda. 

[Bidng impcaiently.] Yes, there you have it! 
It is this poverty that I have come into. [Grosses 
the Jloor.] It is that which makes life so miser- 
able ! So perfectly ludicrous I For that's what it 

is. 

Bbaok. 

I believe, now, that the fault does not lie there. 

Hedda. 
Where then? 



HBDDA GABLES. 121 

Brack. 

In the fact that you have never liyed through 
anything really stimulating. 

Hedda. 
Anything serious, you mean? 

Brlcel 

Welly you may call it so, if you like. Bui now« 
perhaps, it may be coming. 

Hedda. 

Oh, you are thinking about the annoyances with 
regard tb this wretched post of professor! But 
that is Tesman's own affidr. I shall not waste a 
thought on that, you may be sure. 

Bbaoe. 

No, no, never mind about that. But, suppose, 
now there were created what one, in the loftier 
style, might call more serious and more responsible 
claims upon you? [Smilea.] New claims, littie 
Mrs. Hedda. 



122 HEDDA GABLEB. 



Hedba. 

[Angry.] Be qniei You shall never live to see 
anything of that sort 

Brlcel 

{Cautiously.'] We will talk about that a year 
hence, at the very latest 

Hedda. 

[Shyrtly.] I have no plans of that kind, Judge. 
Nothing that will have any daim upon me. 

Bbaok. 

Would you not, like most other women, form 
plans for a vocation, such as ? 

Hedda. 

[Away nea/r the glass door.] Ah, hold your 
tongue, I tell you ! It often seems to me that the 
only vocation I have in the world is for one single 
thing. 

Brace. 

[Gom^s closer to her.] And what is that, if I 
may ask? 



HEDDA 9ABLBB. 128 

Hedda. 

\8tomd8 cmd looks ovt.l To bo re the life out of 
m y ael l - Nn^ ypy Imnw if.. [Tuma^ looks toward 
the bach-room a/nd lavghs.] Yes, quite right ! We 
have the professor. 

Bbaoe. 

[Softly^ in a tvaming voice.] Now, now, now, 
Mrs. Hedda. 

Geobge Tesican, in evening dresSy with gloves amd 
hat in his hmd^ comes from right side throvgh 
back-room. 

Teshan. 

Hedda, has anyone come with a message from 
Ejlert Lovborg? Eh? 

Hedda. 
No. 

Teshan. 

Well, you will see that he will be here himflelf in 
a little while. 

Brace. 

Do you really think he will come? 



1S4 HSDDA QABLKE. 



Yesy I am almost sure of it For thoae aie onty 
flying nmuns that you were lepeatiiig this nwiming, 

Bback. 
Indeed? 

Tesman. 

Tee, at all evente Annt Julie said that she never 
would believe that he wonld stand in my way after 
to-day. Fancy that ! 

Bbaok. 
Welly then it is all right. 

Tesman. 

[Puts his hat with his gloves in it on chair to 
right.'] Yes, but I must really be allowed to wait 
for him as long as there's a chance. 

Bbaok. 

We have plenty of time for that. Nobody comes 
to me until seven o'clock — ^half-past seven. 



HEDDA QABLEB. 125 

Tesman. 

Welly then we can keep Hedda company till 
then. And keep an eye on the time. Eh? 

Hedda. 

[Carriea Bbaok's overcoat cmd hat over to the 
settee.] And if the worst comes to the worst Mr. 
Lovborg can sit here with me. 

Bbaoe. 

[Wishes to carry the things himsdf.] Oh, please 
don't, Mrs. ! What do you mean by the worst ? 

Hedda. 
If he will not go with you and Tesman. 

Tesman. 

[Looks dubiously oi her.] But, dear Hedda, do 
you think it would be quite the thing for him to 
stay here with you? Eh? BecoUect that Aunt 
Julie can't come. 

Hedda. 

^o, but Mrs. Elysted is coming. And so we 
three can have a cup of tea together. 



126 BBDDA GABLES. 

Tebman. 
Yes, in tJuxi case, all right. 

Bbaoe. 

[Smiles.] And that would, perhapB, be the wis- 
est thing for him. 

Hedda. 
Why? 

Bbaoe. 

Good gracious, Mrs. Tesman, jou have teased 
me often enough about m j little bachelor parties. 
You ought not to associate with any but men of 
the highest principles, you used to say. 

Hedda. 

But Mr. LoTboi^ has the highest principles pos- 
sible now. A sinner that repents 

Bebtha appea/ra aJt (he Tudlrdoor. 

Bebtha. 

Please, ma'am, there's a gentleman that wishes 
to 



HEDDA GABLBR. 127 

Hedda. 
Yes, show him in. 

Tesican. 

[Aside.'] I am certain it is he I Fancy that ! 

[Ejlebt Loybobg comes in from the hall. He is 
slim cmd thin; the same age as Tesman, hut looks 
older amd somewhat worn. Hair a/nd heard dark- 
hrotvn; face long^ paHe^ hut tvith red patches on the 
cheeTerbones. He is dressed in am, elegant^ hlach^ 
perfectly new tnsiting suit Dark gloves and tail 
hat in his hamd. He remmns standing in the 
neighborhood of the door and hows hastily. Seems 
a little embarrassed.] 

Tesman. 

[Ches to him amd shakes hamds.] Well, dear 
Ejlert, so we really meet once more ! 

Ejlebt LoYBOBa. 

\8peakmg in a low voice.] Thank you for your 
letter. [Approaches Hedda.] May I venture to 
hope that you, too, will shake hands with me, Mrs. 
Tesman? 



128 HEDDA QABLEB. 



Hedda. 



[Shakes hounds with him,'\ Welcome, Mr. Lov- 
borg. [ With a gestural I don't know whether you 
two gentlemen ? 

LOYBOBG. 

[Bowing slightly.'] Mr. Justioe Brack, I beUeye. 

Bbaoe. 
[In the same way,] Certainly. Some years ago. 

Tesman. 

[To LoTBOBG, vnth his hands on his shoulders.] 
And now, Ejlert, you are to feel exactly as if you 
were at home. Isn't he, Hedda? For I hear you 
ore going to settle down here in town. Eh ? 

LoYBOBG. 

I want to. 

Tesman. 

Well, that is very natural Listen, I have got 
your new book. But the truth is I have not had it 
long enough to read it through ye^u 



HEDDA GABLES. 139 

LoYBOBa. 

You may spare yourself that troubleu 

Tesman. 
Wliat do you mean by that? 

LOTBOBG. 

Oh, there is not anything much in it. 

Tesman. 
No, fancy I you yourself say that? 

Bbaoe. 
But it is being tremendously praised, I hear. 

LOYBOBG. 

That is what I wanted. And so I wrote the book 
in such a way that everybody could agree with it. 



Bbaoe. 



Very sagadoos. 




180 HEDDA QABLEB. 

TSSICAN. 

Tee, bat— <lear Ejlert 1 

liOYBOBa. 

For my object now is to rebuild a positicm for 
myBell Begin afresh. 

Tesman. 

[Slightly embarrctssed.] Ah I joa wish to do 
that? Eh? 

LoYBOBG. 

[Smiles f puts his hat dotvn^ amd takes a po/dket 
wrapped up in paper out of his coat po(^Det.] But 
when this is published, Gteorge Tesman, you must 
read this. For this is the real thing. What I am 
part of myself. 

Tesman. 

Indeed I And what may that be? 

liOTBOBa. 

This is the continuation. 

Tesman. 
The continuation ? Of what ? 



HBDDA QABLBB. 181 

liOTBOBG. 

Of the booL 

Tesman. 
Of the new book? 

LOTBOBG. 

Certainly. 

Tesman. 
Yes ; but, E jlert, that comes down to our days I 

LOVBORG. 

Yes, it does. And this treats of the future. 

Tesman. 

\ 

Of the future? But, good gracious, we don't \ 
know anything about that I "^ 

liOYBORG. 

No. But there are seyeral things though can be 
said about it all the same. {Opens the packet.] 
You will see here 

Tesman. 

That is not your handwriting. 



182 HEDDA GABLEB, 

LOTBOBO. 

I haye dictated it. [Twms over the pages.] It is 
divided into two sections. The first is about the 
civilizing forces of the future. And the other {goe^ 
on turning the pages] is about the civilizing progress 
of the future. 

Tesman. 

Extraordinary I It would never have occu rred t o 
me to write about that. <- ',t . . - /. ,^* 

^^— -....., ■/>"#/; --y .' ■.ijf'^- 

Hedda. 

{At the glass door. Drums on the pa/nes.] H'm 
— ^no, no ! 

LOVBOKG. 

[Puts the papers back into their envelope and lays 
the package on the table.] I brought it with me be- 
cause I thought I would read you a little of it this 
evening. 

Tesman. 

That was awfully nice of you. But — ^this even- 
ing [Looks at Brack.] I really don't know 

what to say about that. 



HEDDA GABLER. 133 

LOTBOBG. 

Well, then, another time. There is no hurry. 

Bbaoe. 

I must tell you, Mr. LoTborg, there is a little 
gathering at my house this evening. Chiefly for 
Tesman, you understand. 

LOVBOBG. 

[LooTdngfcyr his hat.] Ah ! then I won't stay any 
longer. 

Bbage. 

No, just listen. Will you not give me the pleas- 
ure of coming too? 

Lovbobg. 

[Short amd firm.] No, I can't do that. Thank 
you so much. 

Bbaoe. 

Oh, now do I We shall be a little select cirde. 
And you may depend upon it that we shall make it 
"lively," as Mrs. Hed — , as Mrs. Tesman says. 



134 HEDDA GABLBB. 

lidYBOBO. 

I don't doubt that But all the same- 



Bbaoe. 

You might bring your manoflcript and read it to 

Tesman there in mj house. For I have rooms 

enough. 

Tesman. 

Yes, think, Ejlert, you might do that I Eh ? 

Hedda. 

[Joining them.] But, dear, suppose Mr. Lovborg 
does not wish to. I am certain Mr. Lovborg would 
like much better to stay here and have dinner with 
me. 

LOYBOKG. 

[Gazes at Jier.] With you, Mrs. Tesman? 

Hedda. 
And with Mrs. Elvsted. 

LOYBORG. 

Ah ! [ With a gesture of refusal.] I met her just 
now in the middle of the day. 



HEDDA GABLES. 186 

Hedda. 

Did you? Yes, she is coming. And therefore 
it is almost a matter of necessity that you should 
stay, Mr. Lovborg. Or else she will have nobody 
to see her home. 

LOTBOBG. 

That is true. Yes, many thanks, Mrs. Tesman, 
then I will stay. 

Hedda. 

Then I will just give the servant a few direc- 
tions. 

[She goes over to the hail-door amd rings. Bebtha 
comes in. Hedda talks aside to her amd points 
to the back room. Bebiqa nods amd goes out 
agcdn.] 

Tesman. 

[At the same time to Ejlebt Lovbobg.] Tell me, 
Ejlert, is it this new subject — ^this about the future 
— ^which you intend to lecture about? 

LOYBOBG. 



186 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Tesman. 

For I heard at the bookseller's that you are to 
deliyer a course of lectures here in the autumn. 

LOTBOBG. 

Yes, I am. You must not blame me for that, 
Tesman. 

Tesman. 

No, of course not 1 But 



LOVBOBG. 

I can easily understand that it must seem rather 
provoking to you. 

Tesman. 

Oh, for my sake I cannot expect that you 

LOTBOBG. 

I But I wait until you have got your nomination. 

Tesman. 

Are you going to wait? Yes, but — ^but — ^then 
are you not going to contest the post with me? 
Eh? 



HEDDA GABLER. 137 

liOYBOBa. 

No. I will meiely triumph over you. In the 
popular judgment. 

Tesman. 

But, good Lord, then Aunt Julie was right all 
along ! Oh, yes, I knew that was how it would be ! 
Heddal Fancy — ^Ejlert Lovborg is not going to 
oppose us after alL 

Hedda. V 

* 

[Sharply. "l Us ? Pray keep me out of it. i 

[She cr 08868 to the hack room^ where Bebtha is 8tcmd- 
ingy and spreading a table-cloth vnth decanters and 
glasses on the table, Hedda nods approvingly and 
crosses back again. Bebtha goes out.l 

Tesman. 

[At the same time.] But you, Judge Brack, what 
do you say to this? Eh? 

Bbaoe. 

Well, I say that honor and victory — ^h'm — they 
may be monstrous fine things 



1S8 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Tbsman. 

Yes, of course, they may be. At the same 

time 

Hedda. 

[Looks at Tesman vnth a cold smile.'] I think 
that you stand there and look as if yon were thnn- 
derstmcL 

Tesman. 

Tes — ^that's about it — ^I almost fancy 



» Bbaoe. 

But that was a thunder-storm that hung oyer us, 

Mrs. Tesman. 

Hedda. 

[Points to the back room.] "Won't you gentlemen 
go in and take a glass of cold punch? 

Bbaoe. 

[Looks est his watch.] As a stirrup-cup? Well, 
that won't be a bad idea. 

Tesman. 

Splendid, Hedda ! Perfectly splendid I In such 
a happy mood as I now feel in 



HBDDA QABLBB. 189 

Hedda. 
Yon toOy I hope, Mr. Lovboig? 

LdVBOBO. 

[Befuaing.] No, many thanks. Not for me. 

Bbaoe. 

Bnty good liordy cold punch isn't poison, that I 
know of. 

LOYBOBO. 

Perhaps not for eveiy one. 

Hedda. 

I shall keep Mr. Lovborg company while joa go 
in. 

Tesman. 

YeSy yeSy dear Hedda, do that. 

[He and Bbaoe gointo the back room^ sit doum^ drink 
punchy smoke cigarettes^ and talk cheerfully during 
the following dialogue. "Ejilebtd Loybobo remains 
stoffiding near the stove. "EsjiJiK goes to the writing* 



140 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 

[Bcdsing her voice a little.] Now, I will show 
you some photographs, if you like. For Tesman 
and I — ^we made a tour through the Tyrol as we 
came home. 

[She comes with an aUmm^ which she places on the 
table near the sofa and sits on the upper corner of 
the latter, Ejlebt Lovborg goes closer^ stopsy amd 
gazes oi her. Then he takes a chair and sits down 
ai her left side with his back to the farther room.'] 

Hedda. 

[Opens the album.] Do you see this mountain 
landscape, Mr. Lovboi^ ? This is the Ortler group. 
Tesman has written it undemeatL You see it 
here : The Ortler Group, near Meran. 

LOYBOBO. 

[Who has gaaed at her all this time^ says slowly in 
a low tone of voice.] Hedda — Gabler I 

Hedda. 
[Qlanoes quickly cU him.] Well ! Hush t 



HEDDA GABLEB. 141 

LdYBOBG. 

[Bepeais softly. '\ Hedda Gabler 1 

Hbdda. 

[Looks in the aUmmJ] Yes, that used to be my 
name. Then — when we two Imew one another. 

LOTBOBG. 

And henceforward — and all my life long — ^I mnst 
get ont of the habit of saying Hedda Gabler. 

Hedda. 

[Ches on twmvng over the leaves.] Yes, you mnsi 
And I think you ought to practise it in time. The 
sooner the better, I think. 

LOTBOBO. 

[With resentful expression.] Hedda Gkibler mai> 
ried I And to-— Gteoi^e Tesman I 

Hedda. 
Yes, that's how it is. 



lis HBDDA GABLBB. 

LoYBOBG. 

Oh, Hedda, Hedda ! how could you throw yonr- 
self away like that? 

Hedda. 

[Looks sharply at him.] Now I None of that 
here. 

LOYBOBG. 

None of what, do yon mean? 

Teisman comes in amd approacJiea the aofau 

Hedda. 

[Hears him comifig amd says indifferently.'] And 
this, Mr. Lovborg, this is down from the Ampez2X) 
Valley. Jnst look at the peaks there. [Looks 
kindly at Tesman.] What are these wonderful 
peaks called, dear? 

Tesman. 
Let me see. Oh ! Those are the Dolomites. 

Hedda. 

So they are, yes. Those are the Dolomites, Mr. 
Ijovborg. 



BSDDA QABLEB. US 

Tesican. 

Hedda, dear, I was just going to ask whether we 
should not bring you in a little punch? For your- 
self at all events ? Eh? 

Hedda. 

Oh, thanks. And one or two biscuits as well, per- 
haps. 

Tesman. 

No cigarettes ? 

Hedda. 
No. 

Tesman. 

Very welL 

[He goes into the back room amd out to right. Bbaoe 
sits there and now a/nd then gUmces ai Hedda amd 

LoTBOBG.] 

LoVBOBO. 

\In a low voice^ as be/ore.] Answer me, Hedda. 
How could you go and do all this ? 

Hedda. 

[Apparefntty absorbed in the album,] 11 you go on 
saying ''thou'* to me I shall not talk to you any 
pore. 



144 HEDDA GABLEB. 

LOYBOBG. 

Maylnotsay ^^ihon" whenweaiebyourselYes? 

Hedda. 

No. You may be allowed to think it. But you 
must not say it. 

LOTBOBG. 

Ah ! I understand. It clashes with your love — 
for Gboi^e Tesman. 

Hedda. 

[Olomcea at him cmd smiles.] Love ? NO| that is 
a joke ! 

LOTBOBO. 

Not love then? 

Hedda. 

No sort of unfai thfulness, either f T '^^'^^^ ^e^-' 
of anything of that kind. 

I" 

LdYBOBG. 

Hedda, just give me an answer about one thing. 



HSDDA QABLBB. 145 



Heddjl 

Hush! 

TESMANy vnth a serviette^ comes from the back room. 



Tesman. 

Comoy then ! Here are the good things. 

[He spreads the cloth on the table.] 

Hedda. 
^S^y* do you lay the cloth yourself? 

Tesman. 

[Fills up the glasses,] Yes, because it seems such 
fun to wait upon you, Hedda. 

Hedda. 

But now, you have filled boih glasses* And Mr. 
Lovboi^ does not wish for any. 

Teskan. 

No, but Mrs. Elvsted is sure to come in a min« 

ute. 

10 



146 HEDDA QABLEB. 

Hedda. 
Tes, that is true — ^Mrs. Elvsted- 

Tesman. 
Had you forgotten her? Eh? 

Hedda. 

We were so absorbed in these photographs. 
[Shows him a picture.] Do jou recollect this little 
mountain-Tillage ? 

Tesman. 

Ah, that is the one below the Brenner Pass I It 
was there that we stayed aU night 

Hedda. 
And met all those entertaining tonristB. 

Tesman. 

Tes, to be sure, it was there. Fancy — ^if we 
could have had you with us, Ejlert ! "Well ! 

[He goes in again ami aits down by 
' Bbaoe.] 



HBDDA GABLES. 147 

LOTBOBG. 

Just give me an answer about one thing, Hed- 
da 

Hedda. 
WeU? 

LoYBOBO. 

"Was there no love in your relation to me either ? 
Not a splash — ^not a gleam of loye oyer that either ? 

Hedda. 

I wonder if there really was? For my part I 
feel that we were two very goodJBlflSxidiesX Two 
thoroughly mtimate . fidL^iiidiSi [Smiles.] You es- 
pecially were awfully frank. 

LOVBOBG. 

It was you who wished it to be so. 

Hedda. 

When I look back upon it, there was certainly 
something beautiful, something fascinating — some- 
thing spirited it seems to me there was about — 



148 HEDDA QABLEB. 

about that secret intimacy — that comradeship, 
which no U^ing human being had a suspicion of. 

LOTBOBG. 

Yes, isn't that so, Hedda! Was there not? 
When I used to come up to see your father of a 
morning — ^and the general sat away by the window 
and read the papers — ^with his back to us. 

Bjeedda. 
And we, on the settee. 

LOYBOBG. 

Always witii the same iUnstrated newspaper in 
front of us 

Hedda. 
For want of an album, yes. 

liOVBOBG. 

Yes, Hedda — and when I used to confess to you. 
Told you about myself, things that nobody else 
knew in those days. Sat there and admitted that 
I had been out on the loose for whole days and 



HEDDA GABLER. 149 



nights. Out on {he loose for days and days. Ah, \ 
Hedda, what power was it in you that forced me * 
to acknowledge things like that ? 



Hedda. 
Do you think it was a power in me ? 

LoYBOBG. 

Yes, how else can I explain it ? And all those 
— ^those mysterious questions that you used to ask 
me 

Hedda. 
And which you understood so thoroughly. 

LoYBOKa. 

That you could sit and ask such things I Quite 
boldly. 

Hedda. 

Mysteriously, if you please. 

LOYBOBO. 

Tes, but boldly, all the sama Ask me — ^about 
things of that kind. 

t / f 



150 HEDDA QABLBB. 

Hedda. 
And that yoa could answer, Mr. Loyboi^. 

LOTBOBG. 

Yes, that is just what I do not understand — ^now 
looking back upon it. But tell me then, Hedda — 
was not love at the basis of that relation? Had 
not you an idea that you could wash me clean, if 
only I came to you iu confession? Was it not so ? 

Hedda. 
No, not quite. 

LOYBOBG. 

Then what actuated you? 

Hedda. 

Oan't you understand that a young girl-r— if it can 
be done in— in secret 



LOYBOBG. 

WeU? 

Hedda. 

Might want very much to get a peep iuto a 
world which 




HBDDA QABLBB. 161 



LoTBOBG. 

WWch ^ 

Hedda. 

Which she is not allowed to know anyth 
abont ? 

LOTBOBO. 

Then that was it ? 

Hedda. 
That too. That too — I ahnost fancy. 



LOYBORG. 

Comradeship in the desire of life. But why \ 
conld it not be that as well ? 



Hedda. 
That was your own fanlt. 

LOTBOBO. 

It was yon who were to blame. 

Hedda. 

Tes, there was the impending danger that the 
real thing wonld assert itself in onr relation. You 



152 HBDDA a ABLER. 

ought to be aahamed, Ejlert Lovboi^ ; how could 
you take adyantage of me — of your bold comrade? 

LOYBOBG. 

[Wrings his hamds,'] Oh, why did you not take 
it up iQ earnest! Why did you not shoot me 
down as you threatened to do ? 

Hedda. 
( 
I was so afraid of the scandal 

LOVBOBG. 

Yes, Hedda, you are a coward at heart 

Hedda. 

A frightful coward. [Moves.l But that was 
. fortunate for you. And now you have found the 
loveliest consolation up at Elvsted's. 

LOVBOBO. 

I know what Thea has confided to you. 

Hedda. 

And perhaps you have confided something to 
her about us two ? 



HEDDA OABLER. 153 

LoVBOBG. 

Not a word. She is too stupid to understand 
that sort of thing. 

Hedda. 
Stupid? 

LOTBOBO. 

In that kind of thing she is stupid* 

Hedda. 

And I am cowardly. [Befnda mmrer to him^ with" 
yui looking him in th&fam^ cmd says in a lower tone 
of voice.] But now I will confide something to yotu 

liOVBOBG. 

[Inqmsitive.] Well ? 



Hedda. 
That I dared not shoot jou down- 



LoVBOBO. 

Yes? 



154 HEDDA GASLBB. 

Hedda. 

That was not my most arrant oowardioe that 
evening. 

LoVBOBG. 

[Looks oi her a momenty wnderstcmdsy crndpassum- 
(xtely whisper s.'^ 0\ Hedda! Hedda Gabler! 
Now I catch a glimpse of the hidden reason of our 
comradeship. You and I! It was the longing 
for life in you, after ail 

Hedda. 

[Softly J with a keen expressiorL] Take care! 
Don't believe anything of that ! [It begins to grow 
dark. The hall door is opeftved from outside by 
Bertha. Hedda shuts the album and calls out, 
smiling.] Now, at last! Dearest Thea, come in I 

Mrs. Elvstbd combes from the hall. She is dressed 
for the evening. The door is closed behind her. 

Hedda. 

[From the sofa^ holds out her arms to her.] Dear 
Thea, you can't think how impatient I have been 
for you ! 



HEDDA GABLES. 165 

[During this time Mbs. Elybted has eoocfumged a 
slight greeting with the genHemen tn (he bach room^ 
then goes across to the tahle^ amd holds ovt her 
hoffid to Hedda. Ejlebt Lovbobo has risen. 
He amd Mbs. Elvbi^ed greet one amcther with a 
silent nod.] 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Ought I not to go in and chat a little with joar 
husband? 

Hedda. 

B J no means. Let those two sit there. Thej 
will soon be oS. 

Mb& Elvbtkd. 
Axe they going? 

Hedda. 
Yes, they are going off to a carouse. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[BapUUy to LdTBOBO.] You as well? 

LdTBOBGk 



156 HEDDA GABLES. 

Hedda. 
Mr. Lovboi^ — ^he stays with us. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[TaJces a chair amd is going to ait down est his 
side.] Oh ! how nice it is to be here. 

Hedda. 

No, thanks, my little Thea ! Not there I You 
come right over here to me. I will be between 
you. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes, just as you like. 
[She goes round the table and sitsdownon the sofaon 
the left side o/* Hedda. Loyborg aits down in the 
chxdr again,"] 

LOYBOBO. 

[After a short jpavse, to Hedda.] Is she not 
loYely to sit and look at? 

Hedda. 
[Strokes her hmr lightly.] Merely to look at? 



HEDDA OABLER. 167 

LOVBOBO. 

Tes. "Fot we two — she and I — we are two gen- 
nine comrades. We believe implicitly in one an- 
other. And so we can sit and talk so confidential- 
ly to one another 

Hedda. 

Without any mystery, Mr. Lovborg? 

LOVBORG. 

WeU 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Softly clinging to Hedda.] Oh, how fortunate I 
am, Hedda I For, fancy, he says thatXJBSBTO 
him too. 

Hedda. 

[Looks cU her with a amileJ] No, dear, does he say 
that? 

LoVBOBO. 

And then the courage in action that she has, Mrs. 
Tesman. 

Mbs. Elystbd. 

Oh, goodness! /courage I 



158 HBDDA QABLEB. 

LOVBOBO. 

Inmiensel J — ^wheu it refers to the oomrada 

Hedda. 
YeBy couragey yes ! If one only had it. 

LOYBOBG. 

What do jou mean, then ? 

Hedda. 

Then one conld perhaps manage to live one's life. 

; [TurTis suddenly.] But now, my dearest Thea, now 

f 

i you must drink up a good glass of cold punch. 

K. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
No, thanks, I never drink things of that kind. 

Hedda. 
WeU, then, you at least, Mr. Lovboxg. 

Lotbobg. 
Thanks, nor I either. 



/ 



HEDDA GABLES. 159 

Mrs. Elybtbd. 
No, nor he either ! 

Hedda. 
{Looks firmly aJt Mm,] But if I wish it? 

LOYBOBG. 

Can't help it! 

Hedda. 

[Laughs.'] Then I have no power over you at all, \ 
poor I? y 

LoVBOBG. 

Not in that direction. 

Hedda. 

Seriously speaking, I think you ought to do it 
all the same. For your own sake. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
No, but, Hedda 1 

Lovbobg. 
Why? 



160 EEDDA QABLEB. 

Hedda. 
Or for other people's sake, I otight to Bay. 

Ii5VB0BG. 

Indeed? 

Hedda. 

Otherwise people might easily get the impreiBh 
sion that you did not — ^really — ^feel yourself per- 
fectly confident — ^perfectly sure of yoursell 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
[Adde.'l Oh, no, Hedda 1 

LOVBOBO. 

People may get whatever impression they choose 
for the present. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
[Joyfully^ Yes, is not that so? 

Hedda. 
I noticed that so plainly in Judge Brack just now. 



HBDDA GABLSB. 161 

LOVBOBG. 

What did jou notice? 

Hedda. 

He smiled so scornfully when you dared not go 
in there to the table. 

LOTBOBO. 

Dared not ! I preferred, of course, to stay here 
and talk to you. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
That was so natural, Hedda I 

Hedda. 

But the Judge could not possibly know that. 
And 1 saw that he gave a smile and glanced at Tes- 
man when you dared not go with them to that 
wretched little banquet. 

LovBOBa. 

Daied ! Do you say that I did not dare? 
""" 11 






162 HSDDA GABLES. 

Hedda. 

Not I. But that is how Judge Brack understood 
it. 

LdVBOBO. 

Well, let him. 

Hedda. 
Then you will not go with them? 

LOVBOBO. 

I shall stay here with you and Thea. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
YeSy Hedda^ you may be sure that is best. 

Hedda. 

[Smiles and nods vnth approval to LoVBOBG.] 
Firm as a rock, then! Booted in principle for 
ail times and seasons ! There, that's what a man 
should be ! [Turns to Mbs. Elysted amd pats her.] 
WeU, was not that what I said when you came 
here so awfully anxious this morning? 

LOYBOBG. 

[Btariing.] Anxious ! 



HEDDA GABLER. 1«3 

Mrs. Elysted. 
{Terrified.'l Hedda, Hedda, then 

Hedda. 

Jnst look yourself I It is not necessary that you 

should go about in this mortal dread [Inter- 

rupting.l Well, now we can all three be in high 
spirits! 

LOYBOBO. 

Ah ! what is the meaning of all this, Mrs. Tes- 
man? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Good gracious, Hedda ! What are you saying ? 
What are you doing? 

Hedda. 

Be quiet ! That disgusting Judge is sitting there 
and keeping his eye on you. 

LOYBOBG. 

In mortal dread? For the sake of me? 



164 EEDDA GABLEM. 

Mbs. Elysixd. 

[Aaidef complaming.] Oh, Hedda^ now yon have 
made me perf ecily miserable ! 

LOTBOBO. 

[Looks steadily est her for a little while. His face 
is gloomy.] Then that was my oomiade's frank 
faith in ma 

Mbs. Elysteo). 

[Beseechingly.] Ah! dearest friend, you most 
listen to me first 

LOYBOBO. 

[Takes ovefttll glass of punchy lifts it amd says 
softly y toith Jiushy voice.] Your health, Thea ! 

[He empties the glass, ptds it dawn amd 
takes the other.] 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Aside.] O Hedda, Heddal how could you 
wish for this ? 

Hedda. 

Wish I II Are you mad? 



SEDDA GABLEE. 165 

LOTBOBG. 

And a health to you also, Mrs. Tesman. Thanks 
for the tmtL The liying tmth ! 

[He drinks cmd vnahea to refill the glass.'] 

Hedda. 

[Lays her Jumd upon his arm.] There, there I 
No more for the moment. Bemember, that you are 
going to the party. 

Mbs. Elybthd. 
Noy no, no ! 

Hedda. 

Hush I They are sitting and watching you. 

LOYBOBG. 

[Puts the glass avmfJ] Thea, now tell the truth. 

Mbs. Elystbd. 
Yes! 

Lovbobg. 

Had the Sheriff any idea you were following me ? 



166 HEDDA GABLER. 

IfBs. Elysted. 

[Wringing her hxmda,'] Oh, Hedda^ do jou hear 
what he asks? 

LOVBORG. 

Was it an agreement between him and you that 
you should come up to town and spy after me? 
Perhaps it was the Sheriff himself that made you 
do it ? Aha I Perhaps he thought he could make 
use of me in his office again ! Or was it at the 
card-table he missed me ? 



Mrs. Elysted. 
[Asidey mocming.] Oh, LoYboi^, LoYborg- 



LOYBORG. 

[Snatches a glass and tries to Jill it] A health to 
the old Sheriff too ! 

Hedda. 

[Be/using.] No more now. Bemember, you 
haYe to go and read aloud to Tesman. 

LoYBORO. 

[Quieter, pushes the glass away,] That was stupid 
of me, Thea, that was. To take it up in such a way. 



HEDDA GABLEB. 167 

I mean. Don't be angry with me, my dear, dear 
comrade. Ton shall see — ^you and other people — 
that if I was fallen now I am up again I By your 
help, Thea. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Beaming vnth delight.] Oh, thank God ! 
[Mecmwhile Brace has looked at his wa;tch. He amd 
Tesman get up amd come into the drawing-room.] 

Bbaoe. 

[Takes his hat a/nd overcoat.] Yes, Mrs. Tesman, 
it is now time for us. 

Hedda. 
That is all right 

Xjovbobg. 

[Oeta up.] For me, too, Mr. Justice. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Aside entreaiing.] Oh, Lovborg, don't do it 1 

Hedda. 
[Pinches her arm.] They hear you I 



166 EEDDA OABLEA 

Mb8. Elybtbd. 
[Oives a alight scream.l Au I 

LoYBOBG. 

[To Bbaoe.] You were so kind as to incite me. 

Bbaoe. 
Well, will you come, after all ? 

LOYBOBG. 

Yes, many thanks. 

Bbaoe. 
I shall be most delighted. 

LoYBOBG. 

[Draws the packet of MS. towa/rd Mm, cmd says 
to Tesman.] For I should like to submit one or 
two points to you before I send it ofL 

Tesman. 

No, fancy! that will be amusing! But, dear 
Hedda, how will Mrs. ElYsted be seen home? 
Eh? 



EBDDA GABLEM. 169 

Hedda. 
Oh, that oan always be managed somehow. 

LOTBOBa. 

[Looka towa/rd the IcuHes.] Mrs. Elvsted? Of 
course I am coming back to fetch her. [Cloaer.] 
Aboat ten o'clock, Mrs. Tesman? How will that 
do? 

Hedda. 
TeSy certainly. That will do splendidly. 

Tesman. 

Well, then, that is all right. But yon must not 
expect me so early, Hedda. 

Hedda. 

Oh, my dear, stay as long — ^as long as eTer you 
like. 

Mbs. Elvbted. 

[In conceaied agony.] Mr. Lovborg, I shall be 
waiting here until you come. 



179 HRDDA GABLMR. 



[With his hoi in Ma AondL] Of ooorae, Mia. 
Ehsted. 

Brack. 

And nofw we are off for a happy day, gentlemeii ! 
I hope we shall make it ''li^efy," as a oertain 
lovely lady pots it. 

Hedda. 

Ah ! if only the lovely lady could be present in- 
visibly. 

Bbaok. 

"Why invisibly ? 

Hedda. 

To hear a little of your unadulterated liveliness, 
Mr. Justice. 

Brack. 

\Lcmgh8.'\ I would not advise the lovely lady to 
do thai 

Tesman. 

[AUo la/ughsJ] Well, that is a good joke, Hedda I 
Fancy that I 



HBDDA QABLEB. 171 

Brack. 
Now good-bjy good-by, ladies. 

LOTBOBG. 

\Bow8 08 he goea^ About ten o'clock, then. 
[Bbaoe, Lotbobg, cmd Tesman go out through the 
hall door. At the same time Bebtha. comes from 
the hack room with a lighted lamp^ which she puts 
down on the dravnng-room table amd goes out the 
same toay.] 

Mbs. Elybted. 

[Has risen cmd walks about uneasHyJ] Hedda, 
Hedda, what will be the end of all this ? 



Hedda. 

Ten o'clock — ^when he is coming to fetch yon. 
I see him before me. With Tine-leaves in his hair. 
Hot and bold 

Mbs. Elvbted. 
YeSf a it only might be sa 



I 
: 



172 HBDDA QABLBJEL 

Hedda. 

r 

And you see he has i^ained power oyer himBftlf, 
He is now a free man for the rest of his life. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

Oh, goodness, yes — ^if he might only oome back 
as you see him. 

Hedda. 

So, and not otherwise will he oome I [Bisea cmd 
approaches her.] You may doubt him as long as 
you wilL I believe in him. And now we shall 
try 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
There is something mysterious about you, Hedda. 

Hedda. 

Tes, there is. I wish foronoe in my life to hare 
power over the fate of a human being. 

Mbs. Eltbtbd. 
Have you not got that? 




HBDDA QABLBB. 17S 

Hedda. 
Hayen't — and neyer haye had. 

Mbs. ELySTBD. 

But not oyer yonr husband? 

Hedda. 

Oh, that would not be worth taking much 
trouble about. Oh, if you could only know how 
poor I am. And you are allowed to be so rich. 
[Looks passtonaidy at her.] I belieye I shall scorch 
your hair 0% after alL 

Mbs. ELysKED. 

Let me go I let me go I I am afraid of you, 
Hedda. 

Bebteea. 

[In the doortoay.'] Tea is seryed in the dining^ 
room, ma am. 

Hedda. 
Very welL We are coming. 



174 HEDDA GABLBB. 

Mb8. Elybted. 

No, no, no I I wish to go home alone I Now, at 
onoel 

Hedda. 

Nonsense I Yon shall have tea first, yon little 
^-^^^simpleton. And then, at ten o'dock, oomes Ejlert 
LoTboig, with jvine-le ayes jn his hair. 

[She drags Mbs. Eltbted almost by 
force to the doorway.] 



Wm> OF SEOOND ACT. 



^i*!^ 






ACT nL 



The room at Tesman's. The curtains are drawn in 
front of the doorway and of the glass door. The 
lampy with a shade over it^ bums, half turned down, 
on the table. In the stove, the door of which is 
open, there has been a fire, which is now almost 
ovl. 

Mbs. Elybted, tvrapped in a greal beaver chak, 
amd with her feet on a footstool, sits close to the 
stove, sv/aken back in the a/rmrchmr. Hedda lies, 
dressed^ asleep on the sofa, toith a rug over her. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 

[After a pa/use, sits up quicMy in her chair and 
listens keenly. Then sinks wearily back again amd 
softly mwrmvrs.l Not yet ! O Gbd ! O God ! — 
not yet ! 

Bebtha comes in ca/utiously, listening, throvgh the 
hall door. She has a letter in her hand. 



176 HEDDA GABLBB. 



Mbs. Eltbied. 

\Twm8 cmd whispers «Aarp2y.] Well, has any- 
one been here? 

Bebtha. 

[AaideJ] Tes, just now a girl oamewithihis let- 
ter. 

Mbs. Eltsixd. 

[Qudcklyf holding out herhcmoL] A letter I Give 
it me ! 

Bebtha. 

No, it is for the Doctor, ma'am. 

Mbs. Eltbied. 
Ahl 

Bebtb[a. 

It was Miss Tesman's maid who brought it. I 
will put it here on the table. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
Yes, do. 

Bebtha. 

[Lays dotvn the Utter.] I had better pnt out the 
lamp. For it is merely being wasted. 



SBDDA GABLBB. 177 

Mbs. Eltbied. 
TeBy pnt it out It will soon be light now. 

Bebtha. 
[Fttfe ii cvJt.l It %8 quite light, ma'anL 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
Tesy broad daylight ! And not oome home yet. 

Bebtha. 

Oh, goodness I I thought that that was what 
would happen. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
Did yon think so? 

Bebtha. 

Yes, when I saw that a certain person was oome 
to town again — and went off with them. We have 
heard a good deal about that gentleman before 

DOW. 

Mbs. Eltbied. 

Don't talk so load. Yon will wake your mistress. 
IS 



178 HEDDA GABLER. 

Bebtha. 

[Looks at the sofa amd sighs.'\ No, let her aleep, 
poor thing. Shall I make up the fiie a little ? 

Mbs. Elybted. 
Thanks, not for me. 

Bebtea. 
Very well, then. 

[She goes out softly throvgh the hatlrdoor. 

Hedda. 

[Wahes up at the shutting of the door^ ami looks 
up.] What is it ? 

Mbs. Elybted. 
It was only the servant. 

Hedda. 

[Looks round.] Ah! in here! Yes, I recollect 
now. [8Us up on the sofa^ stretches herself and rvbs 
her eyes.] What o'clock is it, Thea? 

Mbs. Elystbd. 
It is past seven, now. 



EEDDA GABLES. 179 

Hedda. 
When did Tesman come? 

Mbs. Elybtbd. 
He has not oome yet. 

Hedda. 
Not oome home yet? 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Bises.} Nobody has come. 

Hedda. 

And we who sat here and watched and waited np 
till four o'clock 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Wrings her hcrnds.] And what I expected of 
him! 

Hedda. 

[Tavma cmd sdys, vnth her homd before her mouth:] 
Ah, yes, we might have spared oursdves that 
trouble. 



180 HSDDA GABUBB. 

Mbs. Eltbted. 
Have you been able to sleep at all? 

Hedda. 

Oh, yes. I belieye I havehadayeiy good sleep. 
Didn't you ? 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Not one moment. I conld not, Hedda. It wiS 
absolutely impossible for 



Hedda. 

[Bisea cmd goes across to her,] There, there, 
there I There is nothing to be anxious about. I 
know perfectly well what has happened. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Yes, what do you suppose, then ? Can you tell 
me? 

Hedda. 

Well, of course they went on drinking at the 
Judge's for a frightful time 



HBDDA GABLBB. 181 

Mbs. Elvbtbd. 

Oh, dear, yes — they did to be sure. Bat at the 

same time 

Hedda. 

And so, yon see, Tesman did noc like to oome 
home and make a noise and ling ns np in the mid- 
dle of the night. [Lavgha.'] Perhaps did not par- 
ticularly wish to show himself, either, in snch a 
yery jovial condition. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Bnt, my dear, where can he haye gone ? 

Hedda. 

He is gone np to his aunt's, of course, and has 

had out his sleep there. They keep np his old 

room. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, he can't be there. For a letter has just 
eome for him from Miss Tesman. There it is. 

Hedda. 

Beally? [Looks at the address.] Tes, it cer- 
tainly is from Aunt Julie herself. Well, then, he 



182 HBDDA GABLER. 

must haye stayed all night at the Judge's house. 
And Ejlert Lovborg— he is sitting, with yine- 
leayes in his hair, and reading aloud. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, Hedda, you merely go on saying what you 
don't yourself believe a word of. 

Hedda. 
You really are a little ninny, Thea. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Oh, yes, I am sorry to say I suppose I am. 

Hedda. 
And so deadly tired out you looL 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Tes, I am deadly tired, too. 

Hedda. 

Well, then, you shall do what I tell you. Tou 
shall go into my room and lie down on the bed a 
Uttle. 



HEDDA GABLES. 183 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Ohy no, no, I should not sleep if I did. 

Hedda. 
Yes, you certainly would. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes, but your husband is sure to come home 
soon, now. And then I shall want to know at 
once. 

Hedda. 

I will tell you when he comes. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Will you promise me that, Hedda? 

Hedda. 

Yes, you can depend upon that. Just go in and 
sleep until then. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Thanks. Well, I will try to. 

[/S%e goes in through the hack roorn^ 



184 HEDDA QABLBB. 

\BjayDkgoe8to the glass door and droMS hack tJie cuT' 
tains. Broad daylight enters the room. TTter^ 
vpon she takes a little hand-mirror which stands 
on the writivg4oblej and aflrranges her hmr. Then 
goes to the hall-door and presses the button of the 
hell. Bebtha. soon after appeals aJb the door?^ 

Bebtha« 
Do you want anything^ ma'am? 

Hedda. 

Tes, you must make up the fiie in the stove. I 
atEi chilled to the bone. 

Bebtha« 

The room shall be wann in a minute. 

\8he draws the efmbers together^ amdpvts 
m/orefv/d ow.] 

Bebtha« 
That was a ring at the street door, ma'am. 

Hedda. 

Welly then go and open it. I will attend to the 
stove. 



HEDDA GABLES. 185 

Bebtha. 

It will soon bum up. 
[She goes ovJt throvgh the Judlrdoor. Hedda hneeh 
on the footstool cmd puJta aevercLl pieces of fud 
udo the stoveJ] 

Oeoboe Tesman comeSf after a shoH delay , in from 
the hall. He looks tired avvd rather serious. 
Walks on the tips of his toes Uywa/rd the doorway 
and is going to slip in bettoeen the cwrtams. 

Hedda. 

[At the stove, tvithout looking tip.] Gt)od-mom- 
ing! 

Tesman. 

[TumsJ] Hedda I [Gomes nearer.] But what 
in the world are you up so early for? Eh? 

Hedda. 
Tee, I am up awfcdly early to-day. 

Tesman. 

And I, who felt so certain yon wonld be still in 
bed and asleep I Fancy, Hedda I 



186 HBDDA GABLBB. 

Hedda. 

Don't talk so loud. Mis. Elysted is lying in my 
ioom. 

Tesman. 
Has Mis. Elysted been heie all night? 

Hedda. 
TeSy nobody came to fetch hei. 

Tesman. 

NO| nobody did. 

Hedda. 

[Shuts the stove-door amd rises.l Well, did you 
smnse yoniself at the Judge's ? 

Teshan. 
Have yon been anxious about me? Eh ? 

Hedda. 

No, it nevei occuned to me to be that. But I 
asked you whethei you had amused youisell 



HBDDA GABLEB. 187 

Tesican. 

YeSy tolerably. For once. But most at the be- 
ginning, I think now. Because then Ejlert read 
aloud to me. We arrived an hour too soon— fancy ! 
And Brack had so many things to arrange. But 
then Ejlert read. 

Hedda. 

Beally? Let me hear. 

Tesican. 

[Sits down on oia ottoman by the stove.] No, 
Hedda, you could never believe what a book it is ! 
It is certainly one of the most astonishing things 
that have been written. Fancy that I 

^ Hedda. 

Yes, yes, I don't care about that. 

Tesican. 

I will tell you one thing, Hedda. When he had 
finished reading — something ugly came over me. 

Hedda. 
Something ugly ? 



) 



188 HBDDA GABLEB. 

Tesmak. 

I sat gad envied Ejlert^ io r Tin-viTig };^m flMn iff- 
write l ike that. Fancy that, Hedda. 

Hedda. 
Yes, yea^ I can i m^lflTfttftTi d that. 

Tesmak. 

And then, you know, with all the talent that he 
has, unfortunately he is utterly irreclaimable all 
the same. 

Hedda. 

Yon mean, I sappose, that he has more of the 
oonrage of life than the others ? 

Teshan. 

Gk)od Lord, no I He can scarcely preserve any 
moderation in his pleasures, you see. 

Hedda. 
And what came of it all — at last? 



HBDDA OABLBB. 189 

TSSIIAN. 

Welly I almost think that it might have been 
called a baoohanalian oigy, Hedda. 

Hedda. 
Had he Tine-leaves in his hair? 

Tesmak. 

Yine-leaves? No, I did not see anything of that 
sort. But he kept up a long, confused story about 
the woman who had inspired him inhiswork. Yes, 
that was how he expressed himsell 

Hedda. 
Did he name her? 

Teshan. 

No, he did not do that. But I can't help think- 
ing that it must be Mrs. Elvsted. Do you agree ? 

Hedda. 
Well, where did you leave him ? 



190 HEDDA GABLER. 

Tesman. 

On the way back. We broke up— the last of us 
— ^at the same time. And Brack walked with us to 
get a little fresh air. And then, you see, we all 
agreed to take Ejlert home. Yes, for he was com- 
pletely overcome. 

Hedda. 
He was? 

Tesman. 

But now for the most extraordinary part of it, 
Hedda ! Or the sad part, I ought to say. Oh ! — 
I am ahnost ashamed — ^for Ejlert's sake — to tell 
you about it. 

Hedda. 
WeU? WeU? 

Tesman. 

While coming back, you see, I was by accident a 
little behind the others. Merely for a minute or 
two, fancy I 

Hedda. 
Tes, yes, good God I Bui 



HEDDA QABLEB. 191 

Tesman. 

And when I was harrying after the others what 
do you think I found at the comer of the road? 
Eh? 

Hedda. 
No, how can I possibly tell I 

Tesman. 

Be sure yon don't tell anybody, Hedda. Do you 
hear ? Promise me that, for Ejlert's sake. [Takes 
apctcJeet wrapped in paper out of hia coat pocket,] 
Fancy — ^I f onnd this. 

Hedda. 

Is not that the packet which he had with him 
when he was here yesterday? 

Teshan. 

Yes, it is the whole of his precions, irreparable 
manuscript ! And that he had gone and dropped 
without having noticed it. Just fancy that, Hedda I 
Sosadl . 



192 HEDDA QABLER, 

Hedda. 

But why did you not give him back the parcel at 
once. 

Tesbian. 

No, I dared not do that — ^in the condition in 
which he was. 

Hedda. 

Did you not tell any of the others that you had 
found it, either ? 

Tesman. 

Oh, no, indeed. Tou may be sure I never would 
do that, for Ejlert's sake. 

Hedda. 

So that nobody knows that you have Ejlerk Lot- 
borg's papers? 

Tesman. 

No. And nobody must know either. 

Hedda. 
What have you said to him since? 



HEDDA QABLEB. 198 

Tesman. 

I had no more conversation whatever with him. 
For when we came into the streets he and one or 
two others went quite away from us. Fancy that ! 

Hedda. 
Ah ! Then they must have taken him home. 

Tesman. 

Yes, they were going to do that. And Brack 
went back to his own house. 

Hedda. 
And where have you been racketing since then ? 

Tesman. 

Well, I and some of the others we went up to the 

rooms of one of these jolly chaps and had an early 

cup of coffee with him. Or a very late cup of coffee 

it might more properly be called Eh ? But when 

E have rested a little — ^and when I can suppose that 

E jlert, poor f eUow, has had his sleep out, I must go 

over to his place to take this back to him. 
19 



194 HEDDA GABLES. 

Hedda. 

NO| don't give it from yourself. Not at onoe, I 
meaiL Let me read it first. 

Tesman. 

No, dear darling Hedda, I really dare not do 
that. 

Hedda. 
Do yon not dare ? 

Teshan. 

No, for you can well imagine how perfectly in 
despair he wiU be when he waJ^ens and misses 
the manuscript. For he has no copy of it, you 
must know I He said so himself. 

Hedda. 

[Looks searchingly at him.'\ Can't a thing of that 
kind, then, be written over again? Once more? 

Tesman. 

No, I don't believe that would ever answer. For 
the inspiration— you see 



HBDDA GABLBR. 106 

Hedda. 

YeSy jes — of course there is that. [Bg'ecting 
ths idecL,] But, by the way, there is a letter here 
for you. 

Tesman. 
No, fancy that I 

Hedda. 

[Hamda Tma the letter.'] It came early this morn- 
ing. 

Tesbian. 

From Aimt Julie ! What can it be ? [Puts the 
packet of MS. on the other ottomariy opens the letter^ 
rims throvgh it a/nd jumps up.] Oh, Hedda, she 
writes to say that poor Annt Bina is dying I 

Hedda. 
Well, that was to be expected. 

Tesman. 

And that if I wish to see her once again I must 
make haste. I will rush off to them at once. 



196 HEDDA GABLER. 

Hedda. 
[Suppresses a smile.'] Must you rush I 

Tesman. 

Oh, dearest Hedda, if you only could make up 
your mind to come with me ! Do I 

Hedda. 

r [Rises amd says wearily.] No, no, don't ask me 

to do such a thing. I don't want to look upon 
disease and death. Let me be kept from eveiy- 
aing^ that is ugly. ^^^'\t\/^ 

Tesman. 

Tes, good Lord, then ! [Walks about.] Mj 

hat ? — ^my overcoat ? Ah ! in the halL I do hope 
that I shall not arrive too late, Hedda? Eh? 

Hedda. 
Well, then rush ! 

Bertha. 

Mr. Justice Brack is outside asking if he may 
oome in. 



EEDDA GABLEB. IVl 

Tesbian. 

At this hour! No, I cannot possibly reoeive 
him. 

Hedda. 

But I can. [To Bebtha.] Show Mr. Brack in. 
[Bebtha goes.l 

Hedda. 

[Bapidly^ whispering.] The packet, Tesman 1 
[She eruxtches it from the ottomcm.] 

Tesman. 
YeS| give it me ! 

Hedda. 

No, no, I will hide it till you come back. 
[She goes up to the turtting-table amd pushes it into 
the hooh-case. Tesman fdgets dhovi and ccmnot 
get his gloves on.] 

JuDQB Bbaok enters from the hall. 

Hedda. 
[Nods to Mm.] Well, yon wre an early bird. 



198 HBDDA GABLBR. 

Bbagk. 

Yes, don't yoa think so? [To Tesmak.] Aie 
yoa gQing oat, then? 

Teskan. 

Yes, it is absolutely necessary I should go over 
to my aunts'. Fancy ! the sick one is dying, poor 
thing. 

Brace. 

Oh, dear me, is she really? But in thatcase you 
must not let me detain you. At such a serious 
moment 

Tesbian. 

Yes, I must really run. Good-by, good-by I 
[He hurries out through the hdHrdoorJ] 

It must have been more than lively at your house 
last night, Mr. Brack. 

Bbaoe. 
I have not got out of my clothes, Mrs. Hedda. 



HEDDA QABLEM. 199 

Hedda. 
Haven't yon really ? 

Bbaoe. 

No, as yon see. Bnt how mnoh has Tesman told 
yon of the night's festivities ? 

Hedda. 

Ohy some tiresome stnflf. Merely that he had 
been np somewhere drinking cofiEee. 

Bbaoe. 

I have heard all abont that cofiEee -drinking. 
Ejlert Lovborg was not of the party, I believe ? 

Hedda. 
No, they had already taken him home. 

Bbaoe. 
Tesman as well ? 

Hedda. 

No, bnt some of the others, he said. 



SCO HEDDA QABLEB. 

Bbaoe. 

[SnvUes.'l George Tesman is really an iimoeent 
creatnre, Mrs, Hedda. 

Hedda. 

Oh, my goodness, I should think he was. Bnt is 
there any mystery in it, then? 

Brace. 
Yes, there is to a certain extent. 

Hedda. 

Beally! Let ns sit down, dear Jndga Then 
yon will talk more comfortably. 

[She aits at the left side of the table. 
Bbaoe close to her.} 

Hedda. 
"Well ! now what is it ? 

Bbaoe. 

I had particular reasons for tracking my gaests 
— or, more properly, a portion of my guests last 
nighi 



HBDDA GABLEB. 201 

Hedda. 
And was Ejlert Lovborg one of them ? 

Bbage. 
I must confess that he was. 

Hedda. 
Now you are making me fearfully inquisitiye. 

Bbaoe. 

Do you know where he and some of the others 
spent the rest of the night, Mrs. Hedda? 

Hedda. 
If you are going to tell me, tell me. 

Bbage. 

Dear me, it can be very well told. Tes, they 
took part in a singularly animated aoirie. 

Hedda. 
Of theUvelykind? 



203 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Bbaoe. 
Of the liyeliest oonoeivable. 

Hedda. 
Let me know a little more abont it. Judge. 

Bbaoe. 

Lovborg had received an invitation beforehand, 
he too. I knew all abont that. But then he had 
declined to come. For now, as you know, he has 
become a reformed character. 

Hedda. 

Up at Sheriff Elvsted's, yes. But then he did go, 
after all? 

Brace. 

Yes, you see, Mrs. Hedda, unfortunately the 
spirit came upon him last evening up at my 
house 

Hedda. 
Yes, I hear he became very inspired. 



HEDDA QABLEB. SOS 

Bbaoe. 

Inspired to a somewhat violent degree. Well, he 
changed his mind, I suppose. For we men, we are 
mif ortunately not so firm in our principles aa we 
ought to be. 

Hedda. 

Oh, I am sure you are an exception, Mr. BracL 
But now about Lovborg ? 

Bbaoe. 

Well, to make a long story short, he found a 
haven at last in ^Miss Diana's parlors. _ 

Hedda. 
Miss Diana's ? 

Bback. 

It was Miss Diana who gave the party. To a 
select circle of admirers and female friends. 

Hedda. 
Is she a red-haired girl? 



204 HBDDA Q ABLER 

Bbagk. 
Just so. 

Hedda. 

Snch a sort of — opera-singer ? 

Bbagk. 

Oh, yes — ^that as welL And with it all a mighty 
huntress — ^after the gentlemen — ^Mrs. Hedda. Yon 
must have heard of her. Ejlert Lovboi^ was one 
of her warmest protectors in his influential days. 

Hedda. 
And how did all this end? 

Bbagk. 

Not quite so amiably, I must confess. Miss 
Diana passed from the tenderest greetings to mere 

loggerheads 

Hedda. 

Toward Lovborg? 

Bbagk. 

Yes. He accused her or her friends of having 
robbed him. He declared that his pocket-book 



HEDDA GABLEB. 205 

was gone. And other things, too. In flhort, he 
made a horrible spectacle of himself. 

Hedda. 
And what did that lead to ? 

Brace. 

That led to a general mmpns between all the 
ladies and gentlemen. Happily, the police came 
np at last. 

Hedda. 

Whaty did the police come ? 

Bbaoe. 

Tes. Bnt it was a costly joke for that mad f A- 
low, Ejlert Lovborg. 

Hedda* 
How? 

Bbagk. 

He made a Tiolent resistance. Then he struck 
one of the constables in the ear, and tore his coat 
to pieces. So then he was walked off to the police- 
station. 



206 HEDDA 9ABLBB. 

Hedda. 
How do you know all this? 

Bbaoe. 
From the police themselves. 

Hedda. 

[Looks before her.] So that is how it has all 
happened. Then he did not have yine-leaves in 
his hair? 

Bbaoe. 

yine-leaveSy Mrs. Hedda? 

Hedda. 

[Chcmges her tone.] Bnt now, tell me, Jndge, 
why, really, do you go about in this way, tracking 
and spying after Ejlert Lovborg ? 

Bbaoe. 

In the first place, it can be no matter of indif- 
ference to me that when it comes before the mag- 
istrates it should appear that he oamQ straight 
from my house. 



HEDDA 9ABLEB. 207 

Hedda. 
Then it will oome before the^magistrat^? 

Bbagk. 

Of oonise. Besides, whatever my reason may 
have been, I thought that it was only my dnty, as 
a friend of the honse, to let yon and Tesman have 
a fall aoconnt of his nocturnal exploits. 

Hedda. 
But precisely why, Mr. Brack? 

Bbagk. 

Well, because I have a lively suspicion that he 
will use you as a sort of screen. 

Hedda. 
No, but how can you think of such a thing? | 

Bbaoe. 

Oh, good Lord, we are not bhnd, Mrs. Hedda. 
Just look here ! This Mrs. Elvsted, she is in no 
hiury to leave town. 



208 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 

Well, if there was anything between those two, 
there are many other places where they can meet. 

Bbaoe. 

No family. Every respectable honse will from 
I this time forth be closed to Ejlert Lovborg. 

Hedda. 
And so ought mine to be, you think? 

Bbage. 

Yes. I confess that it will be more than dis- 
tressing for me if this gentleman fixes himself here. 
If he, as a superfluous and an irreleyant element 
should force himself into 

Hedda. 
Into the triple alliance ? 

Bbaoe. 

Just so. It would be the same for me as being 
homeless. 



HEDDA GABLEB. S09 

Hedda. 

So, to be sole cock of the walk, that is yoiur 
object? 

Bbagk. 

[Nods slowly cmd lowers his voice.] Yes, that is 
my object. And that object I will fight for with 
all the means I have at my disposal 

Hedda. 

[While her smile fades avHiy.] Ton are certainly 
a dangerous person, when it comes to the point. 

Bbagk. 
Do you think so? 

Hedda. 

Yes, I begin to think so now. And I am glad of 
it with all my heart — so long as you do not in any 
way get a hold over me. 

Bbagk. 

[Laiighs ambigvovsly.] Yes, yes, Mrs. Hedda, 

you are perhaps right about that. Who knows 
14 



210 HBDDA QABLBB. 

whether I may not be man enough to get sach a 
hold. 

Hedda. 

No, but listen to me, Mr. Brack ! It is almost as 
though you were sitting there and threatening me. 

Bbage. 

[Biaes.l Oh, far from it! The triple allianoe 
you see is best confirmed and defended by volun- 
tary action. 

Hedda* 
That is my opinion, too. 

Bbaoe. 

Yes, and now I have said what I wanted to say, 

and I must be getting back. Gkx)d-by, Mrsu 

Hedda. 

[He goes to the gla»% cfoor.] 

Hedda. 
Are you going through the garden? 

Bbaoe. 
Yes, it is the nearer way for me. 



HEDDA QABLBB. Sll 

Hedda. 
Yes, and then it is the back way too. 

Bbagk. 

Yeiy true. I have no objection to back ways. 
At the proper moments they may be piquant 
enough. 

Hedda. 

When there is firing with shot going on. 

Bbaoe. 

[In the dooTy laughs to her.] Oh ! one does not 
shoot one's domestic fowls ! 

Hedda. 

[Lcmghs aiso.] Oh, no! if one has not more 

than the one, then 

[They nod, as they laugh, amd say good-iy. He goes. 
She shuts the door after him. Hedda stamds for 
a while, gravely, amd looks out. Then she goes 
amd peeps in through the curtains to the hack room. 
Then goes to the umttng-^able, takes Lotbobg's 



212 HBDDA QABLEB. 

packet dovmfrom the book-case^ and begins to turn 
the pages. Bebtha's voice is heard lovd in the 
hull, Hedda turns a/nd listens. Then rapidly 
locks the packet up in the drawer and puts the key 
in the plate of the ivJcstamd. Ejlebt Loybobg, 
vnth his overcoat on and his hxxt in his hxmd^ hursts 
the haU-door open. He looks somewhat confused 
amd excited.] 

LOYBOBG. 

[Turning toward the hall.] And I tell you I 
must and I will go in ! There f 
[He shuts the door^ tums^ sees Hedda / he imme^ 

diatdy regains his self-commamd amd hows^ 

Hedda. 

[At the toriting-table.] Well, Mr. Lovborg, yon 
are pretty late in coming to fetch Thea. 

LOYBOBG. 

Or else it is pretty early to be calling on you. I 
hope you will excuse me. 

Hedda. 
How do you know she is still here? 



HEDDA &ABLBB. 218 

LOTBOBG. 

They told me at her lodgings that she had been 
out all night. 

Hedda. 

[Croaaea to the drawing-room table.'] Did you 
notice how the people looked when they said that ? 

LoTBOBG. 

[Looha inquiringly oJt her.] How the people 
looked? 

Hedda. 

I mean whether they seemed to think it was odd? 

LOTBOBG. 

[Suddenly comprehending.] Oh, yes, that is quite 
true I I drag her down with me! At the same 
time I did not notice anything. Has Tesman not 
got up yet ? 

Hedda. 

No, I don't think so. 

L57BOBO. 

When did he get home ? 



2U HBDDA QABLBB. 

Hedda. 
Awfully late. 

LOYBOBG. 

Did he tell you anything? 

Hedda. 

Yes, I heard that you had had a very jolly time 
at Mr. Brack's. 

LoTBOBG. 

Nothing else? 

Hedda. 

No, I don't think so. Besides I was so fearfully 
sleepy. 

Mbs. Elybted cornea in through the curtains in the 

background, 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[Ooea toward him.] Ah, LoYborg ! At last 1 

Loybobg. 
Tes, at last ! And too late ! 



HBDDA GABLBB. 916 

Mbs. Elybted. 
[Sees the cmguUh in his face.] What is too late? 

LOTBOBG. 

All is too late now. It is all over with me. 

Mbs. Elybted. 
Oh, no, no — don't say that ! 

LOTBOBG. 

Ton will say it yourself, when you have heard—- 



Mbs. Elysted. 
I will hear nothing ! 

Hedda. 

Perhaps you would like best to talk to her alone ? 
If so, 111 go. 

Loybobg. 

No, stay — ^y ou too. I beg you to stay. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Tes^ but I don't wish to hear anything, I tell yon. 



216 HBDDA QABLBB. 

LOYBOBG. 

It is not last night's adventures that I wish to 
speak about. 

Mbs. Elybted. 



What is it, then ? 



LOTBOBG. 



It is about this — that our paths must now be 
parted. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Parted? 

Hedda. 
[InvolvffUarilyJ] I knew it ! 

LOYBOBG. 

For I have ne jnerfiLUfia fervg 



Mbs. Elysted. 

And you can stand here and say that ! No more 
use for me ! Can't I help you just as I did be- 
fore ? Can't we go on working together ? 



HBDDA GABLES. 317 

LOTBOBG. 

I don't mean to do any work after to-day. 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

[In despcdr.] Then what shall I do with my \ 
life? - 

LOYBOBG. 

Ton mnst try to live yonr life as if yon had never 
known me. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Bnt I cannot do that ! 

Loybobg. 

Try whether yon can, Thea. Ton mnst go home 
again. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[In agitation.] Never in this world I Where yon 
are, there will I also be ! I will not allow myself 
to be hnnted away like that ! I will stay here where 
I am ! Be with yon, when the book comes ont. 

Hedda. 
[Aaide^ in suspense.] Ah I the book — ^yes I 



218 HBDDA QABLEB. 

LoTBOBa. 

[Looks ait Aer.] My book and Thea's. For that's 
what it is. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes. I feel it is that. And therefore I have a 
right to be with you when it comes out ! I wish to 
see to it that esteem and honor are poured out over 
you again. And the joy — the joy, that I will share 
with you. 

LStbobg. 

Thea — our book will never come out. 

Hedda. 
Ah! 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Never come out? 

LOYBOBG. 

Can never come out. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[In agonized foreboding^ Lovborg — ^what have 
you done with the sheets? 



HMDDA GABLSM. 319 

Hedda. 
\Look8 excitedly at Idm^ Yes, the sheets ? 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Where have you put them ? 

LOTBOBG. 

Oh, Thea — don't ask me that. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Tee, yeSy I will know. I have a right to be told 
at once. 

LOYBOBG. 

The sheets ! Well then — the sheets, I have torn 
them into a thousand fragments. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
[iSfereoww.] Oh, no, no ! 

Hedda. 
[Involimtarily.] But it is not 1 



220 HBDDA QABLBB. 

LOTBORG. 

[Looks (xt her.] Not true, do you thinks 

Hedda. 

[Becovers herself.] Yes, indeed. Of course. 
When you yourself say it. But it sounded so im- 
probable. 

LOTBOBG. 

True all the same. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Wrings her hmds.] Oh, God! Oh, GtodI Hed- 
da — ^tom his own work to pieces. 

LOYBOBG. 

I have torn my own life to pieces. So that I 
might well tear my life's work to pieces too 

Mbs. Elysted. 
And did you do that last night ? 

LOYBOBG. 

Yes, I tell you I Into a thousand pieces. And 
scattered them on the /tjari. Far out ! There is, 



HEDDA GABLEB. 221 

in any case, fresh salt water there. Let them 
drift out into it. Drift in the tide and wind. And 
then in a little while they sink. Deeper and 
deeper. As I am doing, Thea. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Do you know, Lovboi^, that this about the book \ 
— ^aU my life it will present itself to me, ^g..tfJou 
had killed a little child. 

LOYBOBG. 

You are right in that. It is a sort of infanticide. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

But how could you then — f I had my part, too, 
in the child. 

Hedda. 

[Almost inaudible.] Ah, the child 



Mbs. Elysted. 

[BrecUhing heavily.] It's all OYer. Yes, yes, 
now I am going, Hedda. 

Hedda. 
But you are not going away from town? 



222 HEDDA QABLER. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh I I don't know myself what I shall da 
Everything is dark before me now. 

[She goes out throvgh (he hall door.l 

Hedda. 

[Stamda cund wmts a little.'] You are not going 
to go home with her, then, Lovborg? 

LOTBOBG. 

I? Through the streets? Do you suppose peo- 
ple ought to see her walking with me? 

Hedda. 

I don't know what else happened last night 
But is it so absolutely irretrievable ? 

LOVBOBG. 

It is not merely last night. I know that per- 
fectly weU. But it is this, that I don't want to live 
that kind of life either. Not now over again. It 
is the courage of life and the defiance of life that 
she has snapped in me. 



HEDDA Q ABLER. 223 

Hedda. 

[Looking in front of her.] The sweet little sim- 
pleton has had her fingers in the destinies of a 
man. [Looks at him.] But how could yon be so 
heartless to her, all the same ? 

LOTBOBG. 

Oh, don't say that it was heartless I 

Hedda. 

Gk> and destroy what has filled her thoughts 
for such a long, long time I You don't call that 
heartless ? 

LOYBOBG. 

To you I can speak the truth, Hedda. 

Hedda. 
The truth? 

LOTBOBG. 

Promise me first — ^give me your word upon it, 
that what I now confide to you, you will never let 
Thea know. 



\ 



224 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Hedda. 
You have my word upon it. 

LOTBOBG. 

Good. Then I will tell yon that that was not 
true which I stood here and declared. 

Hedda. 
That about the sheets ? 

LOYBOBG. 

Yes. I have not torn them into fragments. I 
have not thrown them into the fjord either. 

Hedda. 
No, no — ^But — ^where are they, then? 

LOTBOBG. 

I have destroyed them aU the same I To aU in- 
tents and purposes, Hedda. 

Hedda. 
I don't understand that. 



EEDDA QABLBB. 326 

LOTBOBG. 

Thea said that what I had done was the same to 
her as murdering a child. 

Hedda. 
YeSy that's what she said. 

LOTBOBG. 

Bnt, to kill one's child — ^that is not the worst \ 
thing yon can do to it. ' 

Hedda. 
Thai not the worst? 

LOTBOBG. 

No. That is the worst which I wished to shield 
Thea from hearing about. 

Hedda. 
And what then is this worst ? 

LOYBOBG. 

Suppose now, Hedda, that a man — about such an 

boor in the morning as this — after a wild night of 
15 



226 HBDDA QABLBB. 

caronsey oame home to the mother of his child and 
said : Listen — ^I have been here and there. In this 
place and that place. And I have taken joiir child 
with me. To this place and that place. I have 
lost the child. Utterly lost it. The Devil knows 
^^^^^^Th^^anth^MSI.- Whomayhavehad 
ti.eir fingers in it. 

Hedda. 

Ah ! but, after aU — ^this was nothing more thana 
book 

LOVBOBG. 

> The pure soul of Thea was in that book. 

Hedda. 
YeSy I understand that. 

LoVBOBG. 

And therefore you understand also that between 
her and me there is no future henceforward. 

Hedda. 
And which way will you go? 



^-.. 



HBDDA QABLBB. 227 



LOTBOBG. 



No way. Merely see how I can make an end al- 
together. The sooner the better. 

Hedda. 

[A step nearer,] Ejlert Lovborg — now listen to 
me. Could you not contrive — ^that it should be done 
beautifully? 

LOYBOBG. 

Beautifully? [Smiles.] With jinfijfiaifigjai my ^^ 
hair, as youjised.to fancy 

Hedda. 

Oh, no ! The vine-leaf — ^I jdOTLl^ttd^jm^ttung 
more about tha t ! But beautifully, aU the same ! 
Just for once — Good-by ! Tou must go now. And 
don't come here any more. 

LOYBOBG. 

QooArhjf Mrs. Tesman. And give a message to 
Gteorge Tesman from me. [He is going.] 



228 HBDDA QABLBR. 



Hedda. 



No, wait! Yoa shall take with yoa a keepsake 
from me. 

[She goes to the toriting-table and opens the dratver 
I cmd pistolrcase. Comes back to LStbobg toith one 
y.. ^ of the pistolsJ] 

LOYBOBG. 

[Looking <xt her.] This? Is this the keepsake ? 

Hedda. 

[Nods slowly. ] Do you recollect it? It was 
aimed at you once. 

LOYBOEG. 

You should have used it then. 

Hedda. 
/ Look here 1 You use it now. 

LOVBOEG. 

[PtUs the pistol into his breast pocket.] Thanks I 



HBDDA GABLEB. 3S9 

Hedda. 

And do it beautifully, Ejlert Lovborg, Only } 
promise me that 1 / 

LOYBOBG. 



Good-by, Hedda GhtblerT/ 
[He goes (rut through the hall door. She then goes to 
the writing-table wnd takes out the packet vnth the 
ma/avscripty peeps into the envelope, pulls one or two 
of the leaves half out, and glamjcesoit them. Shethen 
takes the wholeofit a/nd sUs downin the a/rmrchair 
by the stove. She holds the packet in her lap. 
After apausCy she opens the door of the stove^ amd 
then the packet also.l 

Hedda. 

[Thrcyws one of the sheets into the fire amd whispers 
to herself] Now I am burning your child, Thea 1 
Tou with your curly hair ! [Throws several sheets 
into thefre.] Your child and Ejlert Lovborg's child. 
[Throws the rest in.] Now I am burning — ^am burn- 
ing the child. 

END OF THIRD AOT. 



ACT IV. 

Same room at Tesman's. It is evemng. The 
dratoing-room is in darkness. The bach-room is 
lighted up by the chandelier over the table. The 
curtadns in front of the glass door are drawn. 

Hedda, in blacky goes to and fro over the floor in the 
da/rkened room. Then she passes into the back- 
room, and crosses over to the left side. There 
are heard some chords on the piamx). Then she 

comes in again and enters the dravnng-room. 
Bebtha comes from the left, through the bach- 
room, with a lighted lamp, which she puis on the 
table in front of the settee in the drawinjg-room. 
Her eyes are red with weeping, and she has black 
ribbands in her cap. She walks quietly and care- 
fully Old to the left. Hedda goes to the glass door, 
moves the curtain a little to one side, and looks out 
into the darkness. Soon after, Miss Tesman ar- 
rives, in black, with hat and veil on, in from the 
hall. Hedda goes toward her with her hands out^ 
stretched. 



HEDDA QABLEB, 881 

Miss Tesman. 

YeSy Hedda, I come in the colors of sorrow. 
For at last my poor sister has found rest. 

Hedda. 

I know it already, as you see. Tesman sent me 

a card. 

Miss Tesman. 

YeSy he promised me he would. But I thought, 
all the same, that to Hedda, here — ^in the house of 
Uf e — ^I ought myself to be the herald of death. 

Hedda. 
That was very kind of you. 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh 1 Bina ought not to have left us just Ttcw. 
Hedda's house ought not to be weighed down with 
grief at such a time as this. 

Hedda. 

[Diverting her.] She died very quietly, didn't 
she. Miss Tesman ? 

« 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh, so exquisitely — so peacefully she departed. 
And then, the unspeakable joy that she saw Q^oi^e 



282 HEDDA GABLES. 

onoe more, and was able really to say good-by to 
him ! Has he not come home yet? 

Hedda. 

No. He wrote that I must not eiq)eot him at 
onoe. But do sit down. 

Miss T£»man. 

No, thanks, dear, blessed Hedda ! I should so 
like to. But I have so little time. Now I have to 
lay her out and adorn her as well as I can. She 
shall go down to her grave looking really nice. 

Hedda. 
Can't I help you with anything? 

Miss Tesman. 
Oh ! don't you think of that 1 Hedda Tesman 
must not touch such work I Nor let her thoughts 
fasten upon it either. Not at this time, no ! 

Hedda. 

Oh ! one's thoughts — ^they don't obey such mas- 
ters 

Miss Tesman. 

[Continuing,] Yes, dear Lord, that is how the 
world goes. At home with me we must now be 
sewing linen for Bina. And here there wiU soon 



HEDDA QABLEB. 233 

be seen sewing too, I can very well imagine. But 
that will be of another sort, that will, thank Qod ! 

Geobge Tesman effdera through the halTrdoor. 

Hedda. 

Well, that is a good thing, you have come at 

last. 

Tesman. 

Are you here, Aunt JuKe? With Hedda? 

Fancy that ! 

Miss Tesman. 

I was just going away, my dear boy. Well, have 
you arranged everything as you promised me ? 

Tesman. 

No, I am really afraid I have forgotten half of it, 
dear. I shall rush over to you again to-morrow. 
For to-day my head seems absolutely bewildered. 
I can't keep my thoughts together. 

Miss Tesman. 

But, dear George, you must not take it in this 
way. 

Tesman. 

What ? How do you mean ? 



234 HEDDA QABLEB. 

Miss Tesman. 

You must rejoice even in grief. Glad for what 
has happened. As I am. 

Tesman. 

Oh I yes, yes. You are thinking about Auni 

Bina. 

Hedda. 

It will be lonesome for you now, Miss Tesman. 

Miss Tesman. 
The first few days, yes. But that won't last very 
long; dear Bina's little room will not always be 
empty, that I know. 

Tesman. 
Indeed? Who is going to move into it? Eh ? 

Miss Tesman. 
Oh, there is always some poor invalid or other, 
who needs to be looked after and tended, unfortun- 
ately. 

Hedda. 

Will you really take such a burden upon you ? 

Miss Tesman. 
Burden? God forgr^e you, child, that has never 
been a burden to me. 



HEDDA a ABLER. S86 

Hedda. 

But now if a stranger shonld come, tiien 

surely 

Miss Tesman. 

Oh! one soon becomes friends with sick people. 
And I haven't any such great need to have anyone 
to live for, either. No, Gk)d be praised and thanked 
— ^here in the house there will be this and that go- 
ing on that an old aunt may have a hand in. 



. / 



Hedda. / 

Oh, don't speak about our house. 



Tesman. 

Yes, fancy, what a lovely time we three can have 
together, if 

Hedda. 
If ? 

Tesman. 

\Unquiet,'] Oh, nolhing. That will arrange itself 
all right. Let us hope so. Eh ? 

Miss Tesman. 

Yes, yes. You two have something to chat about, 
I can well imderstand. [SmiUs.'l And Hedda^haa 
also somet hing to tell jrau».perhaps, George. Qood- 



236 HEDDA QABLER. 

by 1 Now I must go home to Bina. [Turns ai the 

door.] Goodness, how strange it is to think that 

Eina is at home with me and is with poor Jochnm 

as well! 

Tesman. 

Yes, fancy that, Aunt Julie ! Eh ? 

[Miss Tesman goes out throvgh the hall* 
door.] 

Hedda. 

[Follows Tesmak coldly cmd critically luith her 
eyes,] I ahnost think that the death upsets you 
more than it does her. 

Tesman. 

Oh, it is not the death alone. It is Ejlert whom 
I am so imeasy about. 

Hedda. 
[Quickly.] Is there anything new about him ? 

Tesman. 

I wanted to run up and teU him this afternoon 
that the manuscript was in safe-keeping. 

Hedda. 
Well? Did you not find him ? 



HEDDA QABLER. 237 

Tesman. 

No. He was not at home. But afterward I met 
Mrs. Elvsted, and she told me that he had been 
here early this morning. 

Hedda. 
Yes, directly after you went. 

Tesman. 

And he had said that he had torn his manuscript 

to bits. Eh? 

Hedda. 

TeSy that's what he declared. 

Tesman. 

Well, but he must have been completely out of 
his mind. And then did you not give it back to 
him eilher, Hedda ? 

Hedda. 

No, he did not get it. 

Tesman. 
But you told him that we had it? 

Hedda. 
Na {QuiMy.l Did you tell Mrs. Elvsted? 



288 HEDDA GABLES. 

Tesman. 

No, I would not do that. But you ought to have 
told him himself. Fancy if, in despair, he should 
go away and do himself an injury 1 Let me have the 
manuscript, Heddal I wiU rush round with it to 
him at once. Where is the package ? 

Hedda. 

[Goldcmdimmovable, supported by the a/rmrchmr.] 
I haven't got it any longer. 

Tesman. 

Haven't got it? What in the world do yon 

mean? 

Hedda. 

I have burned it all up — ^the whole of it 

Tesman. 

[gregjog to a shriek.] Burned ! Burned, Ejlert's 

manuscript ! 

Hedda. 

Don't shriek so. The servant might hear you. 

Tesman. 

Burned ! But, good God ! No, no, no— this 

is absolutely impossible. 



HEDDA GABLEB. 239 

Hedda. 
Well, it is so, anyhow. 

Tesman. 

But do you know what you have been doing, 
Hedda? It is an illegal proceeding with goods 
found. Think of that ! Tes, if you only ask Judge 
Brack, he will teU you what it is. 

Hedda. 

It is certainly best that you should say nothing 
about it, neilher to the Judge nor to anyone else. 

Tesman. ^^r '-^^^"^^^ - 

Yes, but how could you go and do anything so \ 

monstrous? How could such a thing come into \ 

your mind ? How could it occur to you ? Answer \ 

me that. Eh ? 

Hedda. 

[Suppresses cm almost imperc&ptible smileJ] I 
did it for your sake, George. 

Tesman. 
For my sake I 

Hedda. 

When you came home yesterday and said that he 
had been reading aloud to you 



9^0 HEDDA QABLBR. 

Tesican. 
TeB, yes, well? 

Hedda. 
Then you acknowledged that yon envied him the 

worL 

Tesman. 

Oh, my goodness, I didn't mean that literally. 

Hedda. 
All the same, I conid not bear the idea that any- 
one else shonid put you into the shada 

Tesman. 

\Tn an ff^^jytf^ff Mirfm (i(mtht a^djojf,] Hedda, 
oh 1 is that the truth you are saying 1 Yes, but — 
yes, but— I never noticed that your love took that 
form before. Fancy that 1 

Hedda. 
Well, it is best that you should know — ^that just 

at this time [Breaks off."] No, no — ^you can ask 

Aunt JuUe for yourself. She will give you infor- 
mation enough. 

Tesman. 

Oh, I almost believe that I imderstand you, 
Hedda! [Clasps his hands together,'] No, good 
lord, is that possible 1 Eh ? 



HBDDA GABLBB. 941 

Hedda. 
Don't ahoat so. The servant might heair. 

Tesman. 

[Lavghing in excess of joy. 1 The servant ! No, 
youreally are fan, Heddal The servant — ^is jnst 
Bertha ! I will go out and tell Bertha myself. 

Hedda. 

\WHng8 her homds as if in despair. "l Oh, it's kill- | 
ing me, it's Trilling me, all this ! ^ 

Tesman. 
TVhat is, Hedda ? Eh? 

Hedda. 

[Ooldlyy in self-comnumd.] All this ridiculous 
nonsense, George. 

Tesican. 

Bidiculous? That I am so intensely happy ! Bui 
at tiie same time — perhaps it is not worth while 
that I should say anything to Bertha. 

Hedda. 
Oh, no, why should you not do so? 

16 



242 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Tesman. 

No, no, not yet. But Aunt Julie must undoubir 
edly be told. And then, that you begin to call me 
Gteorge as well ! Fancy that ! Oh ! Auni Julie, 
she will be so happy, so happy ! 

Hedda. 

When she hears that I have burned Ejlert Lov- 
borg's papers for your sake ? 

Tesman. 

No, that's true too 1 That afliedr with tiie papers, 

of course nobody must know about that. But that 

you burned for me, Hedda — Aimt JuHe must really 

have her share in that ! But now I should like to 

know whether that sort of thing is usual with young 

wives? Eh? 

Hedda. 

You ought to ask Aimt JuUe about (hat too, it 
seems to me. 

Tesman. 

Tes, I really will do so when I have an oppor- 
tunity. [Looks uTvecbsy omd pensive again,] No, but 
— ^no, but the manuscript then ! Good lord, it is 
frightful to think of poor Ejlert, all the same. 



HEDDA GABLEB. 243 

Mbs. Elvsted, dressed as during Tier first visits 
with hat a/nd rrumtle^ comes in through the hall- 
door. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

[Oreets them hurriedly and says, vnth agitation.] 
Oh, dear Hedda, don't be angiy with me for com- 
ing again. 

Hedda. 

What has happened to you, Thea ? 

Tesman. 

Is there anything wrong again with Ejlert Lov- 

borg? Eh? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, yes — ^I am so dreadfully afraid that a mis- 
fortune has happened to him. 

Hedda. 
[Seizes her arm,] Ah ! — do you think so? 

Tesman. 

No, but, good lord — ^how can you imagine such 
a thing, Mrs. Elvsted I 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes, for I heard them talking about him in the 
pension, just as I came in. Oh, the most hideous 



344 HBDDA GABLBB. 

nixnoxB about him are going around the town to- 
day. 

YeSy fancy, I heard that too ! And I can bear 

witness that he walked straight home and went to 

bed. Fancy ! 

Hedda« 

Well, what did they say in ^e pension? 

Mbs. Elvbted. 

Oh ! I could not get any dear account 1 Either 
they knew nothing exact, or else — They stopped 
talking when they saw me. And I did not dare to 

ask. 

Tesmak. 

[Unecbsily ahovi the floor. "] We must hope — ^we 
must hope that you heard wrong, Mrs. Elvsted ! 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, no, I am certain that it was him they were 
talking about. And then I heard them say some- 
thing about the hospital or 

Tesbian. 
The hospital ! 

HSDDA. 

No— that is quite impossible 1 

6vl ..■■■'-^- 



HEDDA G ABLER. 846 

Mbs. Elvbtbd. 

Oh, I was so deadly frightened about hinu And 

then I went up to his lodgings and asked for him 

{here. 

Hedda« 

Could yon persuade yourself to do that, Thea? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes, what else could I do ? For it did not seem 
to me that I could endure the uncertainty any 
longer. 

Tesmak. 

But you did not find him, even there? Eh? 

MBa Elysted. 

No. And the people knew nothing about his 
movements. He had not been home since yester- 
day afternoon, they said. 

Tesmak. 
Yesterday ! Fancy they're saying that I 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

Oh, I think that nothing else is possible but that 
something wrong must have happened to him 1 



246 HEDDA GABLER. 

Tesman. 

Wliat do yon say, Hedda — to my going andmak* 
ing inquiries at various places 

Hedda. 
No, no — don't you mix yourself up in this afiGedr. 

Judge Brack, vnfh his hxxb in his hand^ comes in 
through the hcdlrdoory which Bebtha opens a/nd 
closes behind him. He looks grave, and bows in 

silence. 

Tesman. 

Oh, is that you, dear Judge ? Eh? 

Brace. 

Yes, of course I felt obliged to come to you this 

evening. 

Tesman. 

I can see that you have had a message from Aunt 

Julie. 

Brace. 
Yes, I have. 

Tesman. 
Isn't it sad? Eh? 

Brace. 

Well, dear Tesman, that depends on the way in 
which one takes it. 



HEDDA GABLEB. 247 

Tesman. 

\LooTc8 inquiririgly ai him.'] Has anyihiiig else 
happened? 

Brace. 
Yes, there has. 

Hedda. 

[EcujerlvA Anything distressing, Mr. Brack ? 

Bbaoe. 

Again, that depends on how one takes it, Mrs. 
Tesman. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[In cm involuntary otUburst] Oh 1 it has some- 
thing' to do with Ejlert Lovborg ! 

Bbaoe. 

[Looks slightly cut her.] What makes you think 
that, madame ? Perhaps yon already know some- 
thing? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Distracted.] No, no, I don't in any way ; but— 

Tesman. 
But, good gracious, do tell us what it is I 



348 HBDDA QABLBB. 

Bbaoe. 

Well, imhappily, Ejlert Lovboig has been tckken 

to the hospital He lies there at the point of 

death. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Shrieha.l OGodlOGodl 

Tesmak. 
To the hospital 1 And at the point of death I 

Hedda. 
[TnwZMijrfaWZ^.] So quickly too ! 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Wailing.'] And we, who parted in anger, Hed- 

da! 

Hedda. 

[ Whispers.] But Thea— Thea there I 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[Paying no attention to her.] I must go to him. 
I must see him aliYe ! 

Bbaoe. 
It is of no use, madame. No one may see hinu 



HEDDA GABLSB. S49 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, bat only tell me, what has happened to him ? 

What is it? 

Tesmak. 

Yes, yon don't mean to say that he has — ^himself 

—Eh? 

Hedda. 

Yes, I am certain that he has. 
how can you know?] 




BMMMM- 



Bbaoe. 

[jKeep* his eyes faced upon her.] Perhaps you 
have gnessed quite correctly, Mrs. Tesman. 

Mbs. Elysted. 
Oh, how horrible ! 

Tesman. 
Himself too ! Fancy that ! 

Hedda. 
Shot himself ! 

Brack. 
Guessed right again, Mrs. Tesman. 



260 HEDDA GABLES. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

[Tries to be calm.] When did it happen, Mr. 

Brack? 

Bbaoe. 

This afternoon, between three and four. 

Tesmak. 
But, good lord — ^where did he do it, then ! Eh ? 

Bbaoe. 

[A little hesitaiing.] Where ? Yes, my dear Tes- 
man— he must have done it in his own lodgmgs. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, that can't be right. For I was there be- 
tween six and seven. 

Bbaoe. 

Well, then somewhere else. I don't exactly 
know. I only know he was found — ^He had shot 
himself — ^through the breast. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, how terrible to think of ! That he should 
come to such an end. 

Hedda. ■ ■' I \v-^' • .. x^.j-r 
[To Braoe.] Was it through the breaat ? 



HBDDA GABLBB. 351 

Bbaoe. 
Tes, as I say. 

Hedda. 
Then not through the temple? 

Brace. 
Through the breast, Mrs. Tesman. 

Hedda. 
Tes, yes — ^the breast is also a good place. 



Bbaoe. 
What, Mrs. Tesman? 

Hedda. 
[Evasively.'] Oh, no, nothing. 

Tesman. 
And the wound is dangerous, you say ? Eh ? 

Bbaoe. 

The wound is absolutely mortal. It is probably 
all over with him by this time. 

Mbs. Elybted. 

Yes, yes, I have a foreboding I It is all oyer I 
All over! Oh, Hedda 1 



35S HBDDA GABLES. 

Tbsman. 

But tell me — ^where did you leaxn all this? 

Br^ok. 

[ShorUy.] Through one of the police. Oxm 
whom I had to speak to. 

Hedda« 

V 

[Hcdf aloud.] At last a positive act I 



V 



X'JWhMAN* 



[Terrified.] God save us — ^Hedda, what are you 

saying? 

Hedda. 

I say that there is somethingb gau^gLiliihis, 

Bbaoe. 
Hum, Mrs. Tesman 

Tesman. 
Beautiful ! No, fancy that ! 

Mbs. Elvbtbd. 

Oh, Hedda, how can you talk about beauty in 
such a matter ? 



HEDDA QABLEB. S68 

Hedda. 

Ejlert Lovboig has settled the aooount with him- \ 

sell He has had the courage to do what — ^what J 

had to be done. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

No, never believe that that is what has hap- 
pened. What he has done, he has done in his de- 

lirimn. 

Tesman. 

In despair he has done it I 

That he has not. I am certain of that. 



Mbs. Elvsted. 
Tes, he has! In delirium 1 Jnst as when he 
tore our sheets to fragments. 

Brace. 

[8ta/rtmg.'\ The sheets? The manuscript, do 
you mean? Has he torn that into fragments ? 

Mbs. Elvbted. 
Yes, he did that last night. 

Tesbian. 
[WMspera softly.'] Oh, Hedda^ we shall never 
get dear of this. 



254 HEDDA GABLES. 

Bbaqe. 
Wm, that was extraordinary. 

Tesman. 

[Grosses thejloor.] Only to thin^ of Ejlert's go- 
ing out of the world in this way ! And not to 
leave behind him what would have given such a 
lasting reputation to his name 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
Oh, if it only could be put together again I 

Tesman. 

Tes, think, if it only could ! I don't know what ' 

I would give 

Mrs. Elvsted. 

Perhaps it can, Mr. Tesman. 

Tesman. 
What do you mean? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 

[Searches in the pocket of her mmUle.] Look 

here. I hid the loose scraps which he used when 

he dictated. 

Hedda. 

[A step closer.] Ah 1 



HEDDA GABLMB. 355 

Tesman. 
Ton have kept them, Mrs. Elysted ? Eh ? 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Yes, I have them here, I took them with me 
when I left home. And they have been lying here 

in my pocket 

Tesbian. 

Oh, do just let me see them ! 

Mbs. Elysted. 

[P€L88e8 him a humdle of small pages.'] But they 
are in such disorder ! All higgledy-piggledy. 

Tesman. 

Fancy, if we could only arrange them. Perhaps 
if we two set our heads together 



Mbs. Elysted. 
Yes, let us try, at all CYents. 

Tesman. 

It shall come right 1 It must come right ! I will ^ 
dedicate my life to this task ! 

Hedda. 
You, George ? Your life ? 



SM HBDDA GABLES. 

Tbsman. 

Yes, or more properly speakings all the time I 
can spare. Lord, there is no use in waUing over 
what has happened. Eh? We will try to quiet 
omrselves down as much as possible and 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
Yes, yes, Mr. Tesman, I will do the best I can. 

Tesman. 

Well, then come here. We must see about the 
notices at once. Where shall we sit ? Here ? No^ 
in there in the back-room. Excuse us, my dear 
Brack ! Come with me, then, Mrs. Elvsted. 

Mrs. Elvsted. 

Oh, God — if it only might be possible ! 
[Tesman and Mrs. Elvsted come into the back-room. 
She takes off her hat ami mantle. They both sit 
dotvn at the table under the chandeliery amd become 
absorbed in an eager eocamination of the papers. 
Hedda crosses to the stove amd sits doum in the 
armrchair. A little later Brace crosses to h>er.] 

Hedda. 

[In a low voice.] Oh, Judge — ^what a relief this 
is about Ejlert Lovborg. 



HEDDA QABLER. 257 

Bbaoe. 

Belief y Mrs. Hedda ? Yes, indeed, it is a relief 

for him 

Hedda« 

I mean, for me. A relief to know that it is still 
possible for an act of voluntary courage to take 
place in this world. Some over which there falls J 
a veil of unintentional beauty. 

Brace. 
[Smiles.'l H'm — dear Mrs. Hedda 



Hedda. 

Oh, I know what you are going to say. For you 

are a kind of professional person, you too, like— 

weU! 

Braoe. 

\Lo6k8 firmly at her.] Ejlert Lovborg has been 
more to you than, perhaps, you are willing to admit 
to yourself. Or is that a mistake of mine ? 

Hedda. 
I don't answer you such questions as that. I only \ 

know that Ej lert Tj o ylmTE ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ nnnimgn i ^ 

live M^ ^if ft ftftftr hjji^ 9wn_ fo^ipn, , And then now I 

— the great act! That over which the sense of 
' "l7 

A- -/ •/// -/ 0-^ f4 f f.^t 



258 HEDDA GABLES. 

i 

I beauty falls ! That he had force and will enough 
; to break away from the banquet of life — so early. 

Br^oe. 

I am sorry, Mrs. Hedda — ^but I am obliged to 
destroy this pretty piece of imagination of yours. 

Hedda. 
Imagination ? 

Bbaoe. 

Which in any case you would soon abandon for 

yourself. 

Hedda. 

And what is it then ? 

Bbaox. 
\ He has not shot himself — ^voluntarily. 

Hedda. 
Not voluntarily ? 

Bbaoe. 

No. The affair about Ejlert Lovborg does not 
run on quite the same lines that I drew just now. 

Hedda. 

[Eocdtedlym] Have you concealed something? 
"What is it? 



HEDDA GABLER. 259 

Bbaoe. 

For poor Mrs. Elvsted's sake I used a few small 

circumlocutions. 

Hedda. 
What are they ? 

Brace. 
First, that he is really already dead. 

Hedda. 
At the hospital ? 

Braoe. 
Tes. And without regaining consciousness. 

Hedda. 
What more have you concealed ? 

Braoe. 
This, that the event did not occur in his room. 

Hedda. 
Well, that is of no particular consequence. 

Braoe. 

Tou are mistaken. For I have to tell you — 
Ejlert Lovborg was found shot in— in Mi«a •PiRnA.'ft , 
boudoir. 



960 HBDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 

[Will jump vpy but sinJcs bach again.] Thab is 

impossible, Mr. Brack! He cannot have been 

there again to-day I 

Bbaoe. 

He was there this afternoon. He came to beg 

for something, he said, which had been taken away 

from him. Talked wildly about a child, that was 

lost • 

Hedda. 
Ahl 

Br/loe. 
I thought that perhaps it might be his manu- 
script. But that, I hear, he himself destroyed. 
So that it must have been the pocketbooL 

Hedda. 
Yes, no doubt. And there — so there he was 

found. 

Brace. 

\ Tes, there. With a discharged pistol in his 
, breast pocket. The shot had been fatal 

Hedda. 
In the breast — ^yes. 

! Bbaoe. 

No— it struck him in the abdomen. 



HEDDA QABLER. 261 

Hedda. 

[Looks up aJt him with cm eaypreasUm ofdiagust.'] 
That too ! ^Oh, what a curse of ridicplf ^ f^i^ nf vnU 
pgjty hangs oyer eveiythiiig that I merely touc h?Jr'^ 

Bbaoe. 

There is one point more, Mrs. Hedda. Some- 
thing which also may be looked upon as rather 

squalid. 

Hedda. 
And what is that ? 

Braoe. 
The pistol which he carried 

Hedda. 
[Breathless.] Well ! What then ? 

Braoe. 
He must have stolen it. 

Hedda. 

[Leaps up.] Stolen! That is not tme! He 

did not steal it ! 

Braoe. 

No other solution is possible. He mu§t have 
stolen it. Hush ! 



262 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Tesman cmd Mbs. Elysted have risen from the 
table in the bach-room^ a/nd effder the drawing^ 

room. 

Tesman. 

[With the papers in both his hands."] Hedda, 
dear, it is haidly possible for me to see there under 
the chandelier. Think of that ! 

Braoe. 
Yes, I am thinking. 

Tesman. 

Would you mind our sitting for a little while at 
your writing-table ? Eh ? 

Hedda. 

Yes, as far as I am concerned. [Rapidly.] 
Now, wait ! Let me clear it first ! 

Tesman. 

Oh, that doesn't matter at all, Hedda. There is 

plenty of room. 

Hedda. 

No, no, let me just clear it first, I say. Carry 
aa these things in, and put them on the piano. 
There! 

[She has pushed am object^ covered tvith note-paper, 
under the bookcase^ puts several other papers on, 



HEDDA GABLEB. 263 

and carries the whole into the bach-room. Tes- 
MAN lays the scraps of mamiscript on the writing- 
table and moves the lamp then from the comer 
table. He amd Mbs. Elvsted sit down amd pro- 
ceed with their work. Hedda retums.'\ 

Hedda. 
[Behind Mbs. Elvsted's chair ^ gently strokes lier 
hmr.'l Well, my sweet Thea, how goes it with 
Ejlert Loyborg's monTiment ? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
[Looks dispiritedly up at her.] Oh, goodness, 
it will be awfully hard to make it all out. 

Tesman. 

It must be done. There is nothing else for it. 
And this, to set other people's papers in order, is 
just the work I am fitted for. 
[Hedda goes over to the stove and seats herself on 

one of the ottomans. Bbaok stamds over Tier, lean- 

ing on the armrchair.'\ 

Hedda. 
[Whimpers.] What was that you said about the 

pistol? 

Bbaok. 

[Softly. ] That he must have stolen it. 



264 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 
Why must he have stolen it? 

Brace. 

Because no other explanation can be possible, 

Mrs. Hedda. 

Hedda. 
Ah, reaUy ! 

Bbaoe. 

[Olom/ces aJt her.] Ejlert Lovborg was here this 
momingy of course. Isn't that so? 

Hedda. 
Yes. 

Brack. 
Were you alone with him ? 

Hedda. 
Tes, part of the time. 

Brace. 
Did you leave this room while he was here ? 

Hedda. 

No. 

Brace. 

Just consider. Were you not out of the room a 
moment? 



HBDDA GABLBB. 265 

Tes, periu^ just a moment — oat in the halL 

Bbage. 
And where was your pistol-case dtizing thai 

time? 

Hedda. 

I had that down in 



Bbaoe. 
Well, Mrs. Hedda? 

Hedda. 

The case stood there away on the writing-table. 

Bbaoe. 
HaTe you looked there since to see whether both 

the pistols are there ? 

Hedda. 
No. 

Brack. 

There is no need. I saw the pistol Lovborg had 
carried. And I knew it again at once from yester- 
day. And from before that too ? 

Hedda. 
Have you got it with you, perhaps ? 

Braoe. 
No, the police have it. 



266 HEDDA GABLEB. 

Hedda. 
Wliat will the police do with the pistol ? 

Bbaoe. 
Search till they find out who was the proprietor. 

Hedda. 
Do you think that that can be discoyered? 

Bbaoe. 

[Befnds over her amd whispers.] No, Hedda Gab« 
ler — ^not so long as I hold my tongue. 

Hedda. 

[Looks shyly ai him,] And if you do not hold 
your tongue — ^what then ? 

Bbaoe. 

[Shrugs his shoulders.] There is always the 
theory that the pistol was stolen. 

Hedda. 
[Bapidly.] Bather die I 

Bbaoe. 

[Smiles.] That's what people say. But nobody 
does it* 



HEDDA GABLEB. 267 

Hedda. 
[Withcmt replying.'] And supposing that the 
pistol was not stolen, and the proprietor is discov- 
ered. "What will happen then ? 

Brace. 
Yes, Hedda — then the scandal comes. 

Hedda. 
The scandal ? 

Bbaoe. ^.-^ 

Yes, the scandal, about which you are now in \ 
such a mortal terror. You will, of course, be brought . 
into court. Both you and Miss Diana. She will ' 
have to explain what the whole matter was about, i 
Whether it was an accidental shot or murder. Was i 
he trying to take the pistol out of his pocket to fire 
at her? And then did the shot go off? Or did 
she tear the pistol out of his hand, shoot him, and ,' 
then push the pistol back into his pocket ? That ' 
would be quite like her. For she is a stout wench, ^ 
this same Miss Diana. 

Hedda. 
But all this repulsive business does not affect me. 

Bbaoe. 
No. But you will have to answer the question : 
Why did you give Ejlert Lovborg the pistol ? And 



268 HEDDA GABLBB. 

what conclusions will people form from the fact 
that yon did give it to him? 

Hedda. 
[Lets her head 8mL'\ That is tme. I did not 

think of that. 

Bbaoe. 

Well, f ortnnately there is no danger, so long as 

I hold my tongue. 

Hedda. 

( [Locks up at Mm,] So I am in your po wer, 

I JJldgg: 7on have me bound hand and foot from 

\ this time forward. 

Brace. 

[Whispers softly.] Dearest Hedda — ^believe me 
-I shaU not misuse my poBition. 

Hedda. 
All the same— entirely in your power. Sul^ect 
to jour desirain£[ wilL A slave. A slaye^ t^enj^ 
[Bises impetuously.] No — ^I will not endure the 
thought of that ! Never. 

Bbaoe. 
[Looks half-mockingly ai her.] One gets used to 

the inevitable. 

Hedda. 

[Betwms his look.] Yes, perhaps. 

[She crosses to the writing-table.] 



SEJ)J)A GABLEB. 389 

Hedba. 

[Suppresaes cm involurdanry smile <md imitates 

TESMAifs tons of voice.] Well ? Is it a suooesB, 

George? Eh? 

Tesman. 

Lord knows, dear. In any case it will be the 
work of entire months. 

Hedda. 

[As before.] No, fancy that ! [PcLsses her Jumds 
softly through Mbs. Elysted's hcdr.] Is it not a 
strange thing, Thea? You are sitting here with 
Tesman just in the same way as yon nsed to sit 
with Ejlert Lovborg. 

Mbs. Elysted. 

Oh, goodness, if I could only inspire your hus- \ 
band in the same way. / 

Hedda. 
Oh, that will come— in time. 

Teskah. 

Yes, do you know, Hedda — ^it really does seem 
as if I was beginning to perceive something of that 
kind. But go and sit down again with Brack I 






270 HEDDA QABLEB. 

Hedda. 
Is there nothing I can do here to make myself 

useful to you two ? 

Tesman. 

\ No, nothing in the world. [Turns his head.] 
' For the rest of the evening you must be kind enough, 
dear Judge, to supply Hedda with society. 

Braoe. 

[With a glcmce at Hedda.] It willl)e an immense 

pleasure to me. 

Hedda. 

Thanks. ButI am tired this evening. I will go 

in and lie down on the sofa a little. 

Tesman. 

Tes, do so, dear. Eh ? 

[Hedda goes into the bach-room amd draws the cur^ 

tains to behind her. Short pause. Suddenly she 

is hea/rd playing Qj wild da nGe^mtmc within on the 

piano.] 

Mrs. Elvsted. 

[Rises from her chair.] Ugh, what is that ? 

Tesman. 
[Runs to the doorway.] But, dearest Hedda — 
don't play dance-music this evening ! Just think of 
Aunt Bina ! And of Ejlert too ! 



HEDDA QABLER. 271 

Hedda. 
[Puts her head out between the curtains.] And of 
Aunt Julie. And of all the rest of them. I -will be 
quiet after this. 

[Closes the curtadns agadfL] 

Tesman. 

[At the writiTvg-tahle.l She does not like to see 
us at this distressing work. I teU you what, Mrs. 
Elvsted, you shall move in to Aunt Julie's, and 
then I shall be able to come up in the eyenings. 
And then we can sit and work there. Eh ? 

Mbs. Elvsted. 
Yes, perhaps that would be best 

Hedda. 
[In the back-room.] I hear what you are saying, 
Tesman. But how am I to get through the even- 
ings out here. 

Tesman. 

[Turning over the papers.] Oh, Mr. Brack is so 
kind, that I have no doubt he will look after you. 

Bbaoe. 
[In the armrchmry shouts vivaciously.] Every 
blessed evening, with all my heart, Mrs. Tesman. 
We wiU have great fun here together, we two ! 



2TS HBDDA GABLBJL 

[Clearly and Jhmly.] Yes, do yoa not cherish 
that hope, Judge ? You, as sole oock of the walk. 

[^ ^hnt JR hp/ird imtMn^ TeSMAN, Mbs. ElYBXBD, 

amd Bbaok leap to their feet.] 
Tesmak. 

Oh, Tiffciy g^A ia fagAriTig fVina/^ piaf/^lc^ flgftin. ' 

[He throws the curtains aside, <md runs in, followed 

by Mbs. Eltbted. Hedda lies extended lifeless 

on the sofa. Gonfudon and noiae. Bebtha comes 

in from the right.'] 

Tesman. 

{Shrieks to Bbaoe.] Shot herself I ^hpt herself 
IP the temple J Fancy that ! 

Bbage. 
[Half'famtmg in the armrchmr.] But, may God 
take pity on us, peop le don't do_ mf{^^ ^ihi^gl! ^_ 
that. 



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